There is a serious need to improve the effectiveness of states’ action against money laundering and terrorist financing according to the Council of Europe’s anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) body Moneyval in its recently released Annual Report for 2020.
It finds that the 19 states and jurisdictions it evaluated show on average a moderate level of effectiveness in their efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. As a consequence their level of compliance with AML/CTF standards is below satisfactory.
The report presents the key preliminary conclusions of a review of the implementation of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations by 19 jurisdictions in Moneyval’s 47 member states.
The annual report points out that risk assessments, international cooperation and the use of financial intelligence are the areas where Moneyval members obtain higher compliance ratings.
A positive development is that 90 per cent of jurisdictions regularly pursue international cooperation via mutual legal assistance and information exchanges.
Weaknesses and shortcomings
But effectiveness is particularly weak in the supervision of the financial sector, private sector compliance, transparency of legal persons, as well as in convictions for money laundering offences and confiscations of assets, which remain very low.
The report also identifies serious shortcomings in respect of financial sanctions for terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Insufficiently compliant jurisdictions
By the end of 2020, 16 of the 19 jurisdictions evaluated by Moneyval were subject to its enhanced follow-up procedure for their insufficient level of compliance with AML/CFT standards.
Those jurisdictions are Albania, Andorra, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Georgia, Gibraltar, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Isle of Man, Ukraine. Armenia, Israel and Russia are subject to Moneyval’s regular follow-up procedure.
MONEYVAL’s Annual Report for 2020 can be found here.
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