FATF inspects UK’s defences against terrorist financing and money laundering
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is “on the UK soil putting the country through its paces”, according to Fortytwo Data, a specialist anti-money laundering (AML) and big data firm.
Such inspections of the UK’s defences against terrorism financing and money laundering by FATF are “relatively rare but hugely important”, Fortytwo Data says, “as negative findings can severely impact the country’s reputation”. The last one was over a decade ago, in June 2007.
During the two-week visit, the UK has to prove to officials from some of the other 36 participating FATF countries that it has a framework in place to protect the financial system from abuse. The “top secret” inspectors have an “elaborate assessment methodology” but those involved are not allowed to talk publicly about the visit.
Public sector bodies as well as private organisations are inspected.
The results will be presented at an FATF Plenary session in October this year.
“The UK has been accused of being a soft touch for gangsters, politically exposed persons (PEPs) and criminal gangs, a theme that recently entered the popular imagination because of the TV series McMafia, written by journalist Misha Glenny,” observes Julian Dixon, CEO of Fortytwo Data.
“It is up to the country being inspected to prove they have the right laws, systems and enforcement in place and the potential for reputational damage is high,” he states. He cites FATF’s recent inspection of Pakistan, which resulted in the country being given three months to prove it is doing enough to stay off an international watch list of those failing to curb the financing of terror groups.