To view or print PDF content, download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.
|Issued:||March 25, 2014|
|Subject:||Guidance to Financial Institutions Based on the Financial Action Task Force Updated Lists of Jurisdictions with Strategic Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Deficiencies.|
On February 14, 2014, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) updated its list of jurisdictions with strategic AML/CFT deficiencies. These changes may affect U.S. financial institutions’ obligations and risk-based approaches with respect to relevant jurisdictions.
As part of the FATF’s listing and monitoring process to ensure compliance with the international Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (AML/CFT) standards, the FATF identified certain jurisdictions as having strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT regimes.1 The FATF updated its lists of jurisdictions that appear in two documents:2 (I) jurisdictions that are subject to the FATF’s call for countermeasures or are subject to Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) due to their AML/CFT deficiencies (referred to by the FATF as the 'FATF Public Statement’) and (II) jurisdictions identified by the FATF to have AML/CFT deficiencies (referred to by the FATF as ‘Improving Global AML/CFT Compliance: On-going Process’). Financial institutions should consider these changes when reviewing their obligations and risk-based approaches with respect to the jurisdictions noted below.
I. Jurisdictions that are subject to the FATF’s call for countermeasures
or are subject to EDD due to their AML/CFT deficiencies
The FATF has indicated that the following jurisdictions have deficiencies in their AML/CFT regimes and called upon its members and urged all jurisdictions to (A) impose countermeasures or (B) consider the risk arising from each jurisdiction due to a lack of sufficient progress in addressing AML/CFT deficiencies. FinCEN is advising U.S. financial institutions to apply enhanced due diligence for countries in category (B) (for additional details, see the FinCEN Guidance section below). Accordingly, all these jurisdictions are included in the FATF Public Statement.
Please click on each jurisdiction for additional information.
Summary of Changes to this List
Kenya and Tanzania are now recognized as having made significant progress to address its FATF-identified strategic AML/CFT deficiencies. Consequently, the FATF has now removed Kenya and Tanzania from the FATF Public Statement and included them in its Improving Global AML/CFT Compliance: On-going Process document (see below).
II. Jurisdictions identified by the FATF to have AML/CFT deficiencies
The FATF has identified the following jurisdictions as having deficiencies in their AML/CFT regimes, for which they have developed an action plan with the FATF. Consequently, these jurisdictions are included in the following list of jurisdictions with AML/CFT deficiencies (as described in the FATF’s Improving Global AML/CFT Compliance: On-going Process document).
Please click on each jurisdiction for additional information.
Nepal, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
Summary of Changes to this List
Due to their significant progress in addressing all or nearly all of their strategic AML/CFT deficiencies, Antigua and Barbuda , Bangladesh and Vietnam have been removed from the FATF listing and monitoring process. These jurisdictions will work with their respective FATF-Style Regional Bodies as they continue to address the full range of AML/CFT issues identified as part of the mutual evaluation process.
Papua New Guinea and Uganda have also been identified on this list because of strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT regime. These two countries have made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and their respective FATF-Style Regional Bodies to implement an action plan to address their strategic AML/CFT deficiencies.
FinCEN Guidance regarding jurisdictions listed in Section I of this Advisory
A. Jurisdictions Subject to Countermeasures
Jurisdictions in this section (Iran and DPRK) are subject to the FATF’s call on its members and other countries to apply countermeasures to protect the interna tional financial system from AML/CFT risks. U.S. financial institutions should continue to consult existing FinCEN and U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) guidance on engaging in financial transactions with Iran and DPRK. Previous FinCEN advisories and guidance on Iran3 and DPRK4 remain in effect. With respect to Iran, U.S. financial institutions are subject to a broad range of restrictions and prohibitions due to a number of illicit financing risks, including money laundering, terrorist financing, and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferation financing. Financial institutions are reminded of the existing U.S. sanctions that are administered by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), including but not limited to sanctions against Iranian government-owned banks and other entities, as well as Iranian entities that have links to terrorist activity and the proliferation of WMDs. Information about these sanctions is available on OFAC’s website http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Pages/iran.aspx Furthermore, on November 21, Furthermore, on November 21, 2011, Treasury issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to impose a special measure against Iran based on its finding that Iran is a jurisdiction of “primary money laundering concern” under Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act.5
In addition, financial institutions should be familiar with the financial provisions and prohibitions contained in United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) against Iran6 and DPRK7. In particular, UNSCRs 1929 and 1803 call on all states to exercise vigilance over activities of financial institutions in their territories with all banks domiciled in Iran and their branches and subsidiaries abroad.
Existing U.S. sanctions – in particular, those under the North Korea Sanctions Regulations8 and Executive Orders 13570 and 13551 – create a legal framework that limits U.S. financial institutions’ direct exposure to the types of North Korean financial or commercial transactions contributing to DPRK’s proliferation activities that are the fo cus of UNSCRs 2087 and 2094, as well as UNSCR 1718.
In June 2013, the FATF issued updated guidance to assist States in implementing the ir financial obligations for targeted financial sanctions and activity-based prohibitions pursuant to UNSCRs to address proliferation finance risks associated with Iran and DPRK.9
B. Jurisdictions Subject to Enhanced Due Diligence
Jurisdictions in this section (see below) have strategic AML/CFT deficiencies and have not made sufficient progress in addressing the deficiencies. In concurrence with the FATF’s decision, FinCEN is advising U.S. financial institutions of their increased obligations under Section 312 of the USA PATRIOT Act, 31 USC § 5318(i). Accordingly, U.S. financial institutions should apply enhanced due diligence, as described under implementing regulations 31 CFR § 1010.610(b) and (c), when maintaining correspondent accounts for foreign banks operating under a banking license issued by Algeria, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Syria10, Turkey, and Yemen.
As required by the regulations implementing the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), 11 covered financial institutions should ensure that their enhanced due diligence programs include, at a minimum, steps to:
FinCEN Guidance regarding jurisdictions listed in Section II of this Advisory
U.S. financial institutions should consider the risks associated with the AML/CFT deficiencies
of the countries identified under this section (
Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. ). With respect to these jurisdictions, U.S. financial institutions are reminded of their obligations to comply with the general due diligence obligations under 31 CFR § 1010.610(a). As required under 31 CFR § 1010.610(a), covered financial institutions should ensure that their due diligence programs, which address correspondent accounts maintained for foreign financial institutions, include appropriate, specific, risk-based, and, where necessary, enhanced policies, procedures, and controls that are reasonably designed to detect and report known or suspected money laundering activity conducted through or involving any correspondent account established, maintained, administered, or managed in the United States.
FinCEN General Guidance
For jurisdictions that have been recently removed from the FATF listing and monitoring
process, financial institutions should take the FATF’s decisions and the reasons behind the
delisting into consideration when assessing risk.
If a financial institution knows, suspects, or has reason to suspect that a transaction involves funds derived from illegal activity or that a customer has otherwise engaged in activities indicative of money laundering, terrorist financing, or other violation of federal law or regulation, the financial institution shall then file a Suspicious Activity Report.12
Additional questions or comments regarding the contents of this Advisory should be addressed to the FinCEN Resource Center at (800) 949-2732. Financial institutions wanting to report suspicious transactions that may relate to terrorist activity should call the Financial Institutions Toll-Free Hotline at (866) 556-3974 (7 days a week, 24 hours a day). The purpose of the hotline is to expedite the delivery of this information to law enforcement. Financial institutions should immediately report any imminent threat to local-area law enforcement officials.