The United States’ FATF Mutual Evaluation Report: Key Findings
The Financial Action Task Force mutual evaluation report on the United States has been released. With findings collated from site visits between January and February of this year, the FATF assessed whether the United States has complied with the 40 Recommendations relating to anti-money laundering practices, and the combating of terrorist financing. The report was compiled by the FATF and Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), and is the first to be conducted in the United States since 2006.
First and foremost, the United States is lauded for the creation of a ‘developed and robust’ anti-money laundering and combating terrorist financing framework, with a noticeable and high degree of progression since the last report was filed in 2006. The financial sectors, which are most directly impacted by AML and CTF risks, are said to possess a strong understanding of the risks and have adequate procedures and measures in place. However, a greater focus on the risks faced by the non-financial services is needed, the report states.
There is a strong law enforcement presence and the emphasis on international cooperation between the various bodies is commended. However, while the federal approach is commended and has proven to be effective (with an average of 2,100 anti-money laundering-related convictions each year), the report urges for greater consistency in state-level AML and CTF procedures.
The key area in need of further development is the accessibility of information relating to beneficial ownership, and how such inaccessibility could hinder anti-money laundering solutions and approaches. An obligation to collect this information could safely ensure the filling of this gap.
The Anti-money Laundering and counter-terrorist financing measures – United States Mutual Evaluation Report can be viewed in full on the FATF website.