FinCEN updates AML/CFT-deficient jurisdictions

July 21, 2015

WASHINGTON (7/21/15)--Changes to the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) list of jurisdictions with strategic anti-money laundering/counter financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) deficiencies have been released.

As published by the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the changes may affect American financial institutions’ obligations and risk-based approaches to AML/CFT with respect to the named jurisdictions.

The FATF lists the jurisdictions in two documents: jurisdictions that are subject to a call for countermeasures or are subject to enhanced due diligence due to AML/CFT deficiencies; and jurisdictions with AML/CFT deficiencies.

Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have been identified as needing countermeasures, while Algeria and Myanmar are listed as needing enhanced due diligence.

On the other hand, according to the FATF, it has recognized progress made by Ecuador, and has moved it to the list that simply notes deficiencies. That list contains--in addition to Ecuador--Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Guyana, Iraq, Lao PDR, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Sudan, Syria, Uganda and Yemen.

Indonesia has been removed from all FATF lists, due to its establishment of a legal and regulatory framework to address strategic AML/CFT deficiencies. Bosnia and Herzegovina has been added to this edition of the list, but has made a “high-level political commitment” to address deficiencies in its AML/CFT regime, according to the task force.

Like in other countries, Bank Secrecy Act rules in the United States are primarily based on international standards from FATF, a Paris-based organization that AML/CFT standards at the global level.