The last Plenary of the FATF under the German Presidency concluded on the 17th of June, following four days of hybrid meetings in Berlin, Germany. Delegates from over 200 jurisdictions of the Global Network participated in these discussions. 

Important updates on jurisdictions under monitoring 

Jurisdictions under Increased Monitoring – Gibraltar 

Jurisdictions under increased monitoring are actively working with the FATF to address strategic deficiencies in their regimes to counter money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing. When the FATF places a jurisdiction under increased monitoring, it means the country has committed to swiftly resolve the identified strategic deficiencies within agreed timeframes and is subject to extra checks. 

Jurisdiction No Longer Under Increased Monitoring – Malta

The FATF congratulated Malta for the significant progress it has made in addressing the strategic AML/CFT deficiencies previously identified by the FATF and included in its action plan. Malta will no longer be subject to the FATF’s increased monitoring process

All the above changes have been immediately placed in effect in our products, Zygos and Altis keeping your compliance department in sync with all the latest updates. An automated email was sent to all compliance officers urging them to accept the change of risk for the two countries and re-assess any clients dealing with these two jurisdictions.

See the screenshots below to help you with updating your system. 

 

Other important updates 

Mutual Evaluation of Germany and the Netherlands

The Plenary concluded that while Germany has made improvements to its AML/CFT framework over the past five years, some of these most recent reforms are not yet fully effective. Technical compliance with the FATF Standards is generally strong. 

The Netherlands has made notable improvements to its AML/CFT framework in recent years. Technical compliance with the FATF Standards is strong, although there are some outstanding deficiencies including in relation to the regulation of Virtual Asset Service Providers.

Risk-based Approach Guidance for the Real Estate 

Following a public consultation that concluded in April, the FATF finalised guidance that aims to help those involved in the real estate sector implement risk-based measures to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. The guidance will be published in July and will help the private sector participants develop a better understanding of the ML/TF risks and take effective measures to mitigate the risk.

FATF Targeted Update on Implementation of the FATF Standards on Virtual Assets/VASPs – Travel Rule

The Plenary discussed a targeted update on implementation of the FATF Standards to prevent the misuse of virtual assets and virtual asset service providers (VASPs) for money laundering, and the financing of terrorism and proliferation. The report focuses in particular on the implementation of the FATF’s Travel Rule, which requires VASPs to collect or send information on the identities of the originator and beneficiary with virtual asset transfers

Improving access to Beneficial Ownership Information

Transparency concerning the true beneficiary in financial transactions is critical to stopping illicit assets being laundered. In March 2022, the FATF agreed on tougher global beneficial ownership rules to stop criminals from laundering their dirty money or hiding illegal activities through complex corporate structures or legal persons. This includes the requirement to ensure beneficial ownership information is held by a registry or alternative mechanism, which is as efficient. At this Plenary, the FATF discussed progress in developing a guidance that aims to help countries implement the revised requirements of the FATF.

Strengthening the FATF Standard on Beneficial Ownership Information for trusts and other legal arrangements

The FATF is considering amendments to strengthen Recommendation 25, which applies to trusts and other legal arrangements.  These revisions aim to ensure a balanced and coherent approach to beneficial ownership in the FATF Recommendations.  The FATF is releasing a white paper for public consultation on this matter.

See full FATF press release here