International cooperation

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FATF

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental working group operating under the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), conducts international cooperation on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The FATF comprises 39 members: 37 jurisdictions and 2 regional organisations. Finland was accepted as a member in 1991.

The FATF develops and makes recommendations and also monitors their implementation in member countries through annual surveys and periodic country assessments.

The FATF has published 40 Recommendations on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The FATF member states have politically committed to comply with these Recommendations.

The Recommendations are available on the FATF website

The FATF’s country assessments survey the current situation regarding the prevention and detection of money laundering and terrorist financing in the country under review. Finland’s latest country assessment was completed in spring 2019 (published 16 April 2019). The first follow-up report on Finland’s country assessment will be discussed in the FATF in June 2020.

Finland’s country assessment is available on the FATF website.

FATF Guidance and Best Practices

Draft Guidance on Digital Identity

The FATF is in the process of developing guidance to clarify how Digital Identity (digital ID) systems can be used to fulfil customer due diligence (CDD) requirements. The FATF’s Draft Guidance on Digital Identity is available on the FATF website.

The deadline for comments on the Draft Guidance was 29 November 2019. Based on the comments, the FATF will make further amendments to the Draft Guidance at its February 2020 meeting.

Best Practices on Beneficial Ownership for Legal persons

In 2003, the FATF became the first international body to set global standards on beneficial ownership. These requirements were further strengthened and clarified in 2012. In October 2019, the FATF published Best Practices on Beneficial Ownership for Legal Persons, which is available on the FATF website.

Terrorist Financing Risk Assessment Guidance

In July 2019, the FATF published Terrorist Financing Risk Assessment Guidance, which is available on the FATF website.

Guidance for a Risk-Based Approach to Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers

Guidance issued by the FATF in June 2019 aims to clarify how FATF Recommendations should be applied to virtual assets and virtual asset service providers. The guidance follows a revision to the FATF Recommendations in October 2018 which broadened the application of the Recommendations to virtual assets and virtual asset service providers. The guidance also provides assistance to member states and authorities on how they should apply the FATF Recommendations to virtual asset service providers and on how the providers themselves should operate. Guidance for a Risk-Based Approach to Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers is available on the FATF website.

FATF Plenary and Working Group Meetings 2019

October 2019

At its meeting on 18 October 2019, the FATF made a Public Statement on jurisdictions subject to a FATF call on its members to apply measures.

The FATF also revised the list of jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies in their approach to preventing and detecting money laundering and terrorist financing and with whom the FATF has developed an action plan to address the identified deficiencies.

June 2019

At its meeting on 21 June 2019, the FATF made a Public Statement on jurisdictions subject to a FATF call on its members to apply measures.

The FATF also revised the list of jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies in their approach to preventing and detecting money laundering and terrorist financing and with whom the FATF has developed an action plan to address the identified deficiencies.

February 2019

At its meeting on 22 February 2019, the FATF made a Public Statement on jurisdictions subject to a FATF call on its members to apply measures.

The FATF also revised the list of jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies in their approach to preventing and detecting money laundering and terrorist financing and with whom the FATF has developed an action plan to address the identified deficiencies.

 

EU-level cooperation

Guidelines and opinions of the European Supervisory Authorities on prevention and detection of money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism

The European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) consists of three separate authorities: The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA). The fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive provides on the obligation of these authorities to provide Joint Guidelines and drafts to the Commission for Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS). The ESAs have also prepared Joint Opinions related to the topic.

The Risk-Based Supervision Guidelines

In November 2016, the European Supervisory Authorities published Joint Guidelines on the characteristics of a risk-based approach to anti-money laundering and terrorist financing supervision, and the steps to be taken when conducting supervision on a risk-sensitive basis (the Risk-Based Supervision Guidelines).

The Joint Guidelines set out the ESAs’ view of appropriate risk-based supervisory practices within the European System of Financial Supervision regarding anti money laundering and terrorist financing. The Guidelines apply to European competent authorities supervising the financial sector in their respective home countries. The Joint Guidelines do not apply to financial institutions referred to in the fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive.

Competent authorities should apply the Joint Guidelines when designing, implementing, revising and enhancing their own AML/CFT RBS model. The authorities should comply with the Joint Guidelines by incorporating them in their supervisory practices as appropriate (comply-or-explain procedure).

The Risk-Based Supervision Guidelines

Opinion on money laundering and terrorist financing risk threatening EU's financial sector

On 20 February 2017, the ESAs published a Joint Opinion on the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing affecting the Union’s financial sector. This opinion was also submitted to the Commission as part of a supranational risk assessment exercise. The fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive imposes an obligation for the supervisory authorities to issue an opinion on EU-level risks of money laundering and terrorist financing in order to support the work conducted by the Commission.

On 4 October 2019, the ESAs published its second opinion on the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing affecting the EU’s financial sector.

As a complement to this Opinion, the ESAs have developed an interactive tool, which gives a snapshot of all risks of money laundering and terrorist financing covered in the Joint Opinion.

The Risk Factors Guidelines

On 26 June 2017, the ESAs published their Guidelines on risk factors and simplified and enhanced customer due diligence procedures as required by the fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive. The Guidelines provide reporting entities with tools to assess the ML/TF risks related to their operations and customer relationships as well as monitoring methods and other controls needed in risk management. Application of the guidelines began on 26 June 2018.

ESAs publish AML/CFT guidelines
Guidelines on risk factors and simplified and enhanced customer due diligence

Useful information about European AML/CFT projects on the EBA website

The website of the European Banking Authority provides up-to-date information on European projects aimed at preventing money laundering and terrorist financing.

 

Nordic and Baltic cooperation

In 2019, the financial supervisory authorities of the Nordic and Baltic countries agreed on measures to strengthen cooperation between the countries with the aim of fighting money laundering and terrorist financing.

The aim is to strengthen the current model for cross-border cooperation on anti-money laundering supervision between the countries.

The authorities of Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have established a permanent working group to maintain regular contact and exchange experiences and information with the goal of being more effective in the prevention of money laundering. Going forward, anti-money laundering supervision will be more coordinated in the Nordic-Baltic region.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is also being jointly drafted to formalise ongoing and long-term cooperation.