FATF has considered the financial crime risks that Covid-19 has created, and is looking at how to address them. It is particularly concerned at, for example, how criminals may seek to bypass CDD measures, use online financial services and virtual assets to move and conceal illicit funds, and exploit the pandemic and associated economic downturn to move into new cash-intensive and high-liquidity lines of business in developing countries. It is also concerned about increasing use of the unregulated financial sector.
FATF has identified that in some countries, key AML staff have been redeployed or are otherwise unable to do their jobs, leading to gaps in supervision, a pause in regulatory reforms, and problems for jurisdictions that still rely on paper-based SAR systems. It also believes some FIUs in lower capacity countries may be shutting down completely.
FATF has published a paper looking at responses to these threats, including domestic co-ordination of measures and greater communications with the private sector. It also stresses the importance of risk-based due diligence and the use of electronic and digital payment options.