Delegates from the Financial Action Task Force (“FATF“) and the G20 Working Group on Anti-Corruption (“G20 ACWG“) met in Paris today to discuss ways in which both groups could liaise to further initiatives to enforce anti-money laundering (“AML“) and anti-corruption legislation worldwide.
Pursuant to the meeting, the delegates determined that the following areas in the FATF Recommendations need to be focused on by obliged, or reporting, entities to curb money laundering and corruption:
- Politically Exposed Persons;
- Wire transfers;
- Beneficial ownership; and
- KYC procedures.
The need for the use of financial crime and anti-money laundering experts was highlighted as well as the need to join forces with anti-bribery experts.
To move enforcement efforts forward, the delegates recommended that national agencies enter into MOUs for information sharing for prosecutions so that when one country is undertaking an investigation over bribery, it can obtain from Financial Intelligence Units (“FIU“) in other jurisdictions, reports filed secretly by accountants, banks, brokers etc. with FIUs in respect of persons that are the target of corruption and bribery investigations.
It also recommended that when a person or entity is the target of a bribery investigation, the scope of potential criminal liability include money laundering charges since one necessarily involves the other by virtue of the predicate offence regime.
Issues with respect to beneficial ownership were also discussed, relevant in the context of organized crime and tax evasion. It was recommended that nations ensure legal measures are in place to determine beneficial ownership and require its reporting to FIUs and other government agencies.
The lack of transparency in beneficial ownership is compounded by professional secrecy rules that protect professionals who function as gatekeepers in respect of transactions.
The statement from the FATF can be read here.