FATF Report Credits ‘Robust’ US AML/CFT Framework

The Financial Action Task Force said that the U.S. framework for combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism is “well developed and robust” in a report released today summarizing the findings of a recent on-site review. FATF noted significant improvements in coordination among U.S. federal agencies, law enforcement and others since the last report in 2006, crediting the financial industry in particular for its “evolved understanding of [money laundering and terror financing] risks and obligations,” and its mechanisms for monitoring and reporting suspicious transactions.

“America’s banks have long been at the forefront of this fight and we will continue to do all we can to keep illicit funds out of the U.S. financial system,” said ABA VP Rob Rowe. “While there is still work to be done in some sectors, FATF recognizes the good work in the U.S. banking sector. And, the report underscores ABA’s argument that government registries are needed for effective due diligence.”

The report identified certain areas for improvement, including the absence of comprehensive AML/CFT obligations for certain sectors and businesses, such as investment advisers, lawyers, accountants and real estate agents; the lack of timely access to accurate beneficial ownership information; and a lack of uniformity in AML efforts at the state level. FATF added that the U.S. has been effective in its use of targeted sanctions, and pointed to significant successes in preventing the execution of financial transactions related to terrorism and proliferation.

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