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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

FATF updates statements concerning jurisdictions with AML/CFT/CPF deficiencies

Financial Crimes Of Interest to Non-US Persons FATF FinCEN Anti-Money Laundering Combating the Financing of Terrorism Money Service Business

Financial Crimes

On March 10, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced updates to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) statements concerning jurisdictions with strategic anti-money laundering, countering the financing of terrorism, and combating weapons of mass destruction proliferation financing (AML/CFT/CPF) deficiencies. Specifically, to ensure compliance with international standards, FAFT updated the following two statements: (i) Jurisdictions under Increased Monitoring, which identifies jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT/CPF regimes that have committed to, or are actively working with, FATF to address those deficiencies in accordance with an agreed upon timeline and; (ii) High-Risk Jurisdictions subject to a Call for Action, which identifies jurisdictions with significant strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT/CPF regimes and instructs FATF members to apply enhanced due diligence, and in the most serious cases, apply counter-measures to protect the international financial system from such risks. Among other things, through the announcement, FinCEN reminded covered financial institutions of their obligations to comply with due diligence obligations for foreign financial institutions (in addition to their general obligations) to ensure their due diligence programs “include appropriate, specific, risk-based, and, where necessary, enhanced policies, procedures, and controls that are reasonably designed to detect and report known or suspected money laundering activity conducted through or involving any correspondent account established, maintained, administered, or managed in the United States.” Money service businesses are also required to establish appropriate policies to address money laundering and terrorism financing risks posed by their relationships with foreign agents or foreign counterparties. FinCEN further instructed financial institutions to comply with U.S. prohibitions against the opening or maintaining of any correspondent accounts, whether directly or indirectly, for North Korean or Iranian financial institutions, which are already prohibited under existing U.S. sanctions and FinCEN regulations. As previously covered by InfoBytes, FinCEN last announced updates to the FATF statements in October.

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