FATF/MENAFATF update in plenary

FATF and the Middle East and North African FATF have held their third plenary meeting. The meeting updated on a wide range of issues, including discussion on several typology reports and discussion of mutual evaluation and follow up reports on a number of jurisdictions. The plenary also discussed the progress Iraq and Venezuela have made and announced these jurisdictions will now move to working with their local FATFs to further strengthen their regimes.  As a result, there are now 8 jurisdictions remaining on the list of jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies – Ethiopia, Pakistan, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and Yemen.  Pakistan has now developed an action plan with FATF to address the worst deficiencies in its AML programme. The meeting also discussed FATF’s “disappointment” with Iran, which has not delivered on its action plan and renewed its call on financial institutions to continue to apply EDD to relationships and transactions involving Iran or Iranian persons.

Other issues discussed in the session include a fintech/regtech session planned for early September, and FATF’s work on addressing the AML/TF risks of virtual currencies and crypto-assets, on which it will also update in September. It is currently considering how its standards apply to these assets, and addressing the risks will be a priority of the incoming US presidency of FATF.