Pakistan has submitted compliance report on its 27-point action plan to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), as three separate evaluations currently in progress will determine the country's possible exit from the grey list of the anti-money laundering watchdog by October. The Asia-Pacific Group — the regional affiliate of the FATF — is currently conducting in Canberra (Australia) five-year mutual evaluation of Pakistan's progress on upgrading its systems in all areas of financial and insurance services and sectors.
- This round is not directly linked to Pakistan's performance on its commitments with the FATF on money laundering and terror-financing, but its assessment report can indirectly impact the country's position to move out of the grey list.
- The assessments, represented from Pakistan by State Bank of Pakistan Governor Baqir Reza, will conclude on August 23.
- Pakistan has submitted its compliance report on 27-point action plan committed with the FATF to the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), which is reviewing its compliance on about seven areas mostly relating to financial and insurance services and facilities as part of an ongoing five-year review cycle.
- These areas cover safeguards against money laundering and terror financing by banned outfits and non-government entities through banking and non-banking jurisdictions, capital markets, corporate and non-corporate sectors like chartered accountancy, financial advisory services, cost and management accountancy firm, jewellers and similar related services.
- The official aid that the five-year review by the APG, which had been under way for nearly two years, would conclude on August 23. As part of this process, the countries were given future targets in view of changing technologies, practices and latest techniques and scopes.
- This will be followed by another round of mutual evaluations by the APG starting September 5 in Bangkok (Thailand) that would become a key basis of Pakistan's final review by the FATF at its plenary and working group meetings scheduled for October 13-18 in Paris.
- The Paris plenary will also take up a separate assessment by the US Treasury Department regarding Pakistan's compliance with global commitments against money laundering and terror financing.
- The FATF last year placed Pakistan on the grey list of countries whose domestic laws are considered weak to tackle the challenges of money laundering and terrorism financing.
- In June, the Paris-based anti-money laundering watchdog said that Pakistan failed to complete its action plan on terror financing.
- It warned Islamabad to meet its commitment by October or face action, which could possibly lead to the country getting blacklisted.
- The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 by the Ministers of its Member jurisdictions.
- The objectives of the FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
- The FATF is therefore a “policy-making body” which works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas.