Which countries are in the FATF GREY list?

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an intergovernmental body formed to combating money laundering. It was established in July 1989 by the G7 Summit at the Arche de la Defense in France as part of the group’s efforts to curb drug trafficking. The task force was convened from the G-7 member States, the European Commission and eight other countries. The Economic Declaration from that G-7 Summit states that the task force is convened “to assess the results of cooperation already undertaken in order to prevent the utilization of the banking system and financial institutions for the purpose of money laundering, and to consider additional preventive efforts in this field, including the adaptation of the legal and regulatory systems so as to enhance multilateral judicial assistance”. The FATF is headquartered in Paris and has two official languages: English and French. It also has a French name: Groupe d’action financière (GAFI).

Since its inception, the global agency played a key role in identifying and preventing the financial crime by setting standards and promoting effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures. Today, FATF is regarded as the global anti-money laundering watchdog and its policies are highly regarded and treated as law by members and many non-members. The agency has more than 200 countries and jurisdictions as its subjects. It has developed the FATF Recommendations, or FATF Standards, ensuring a “co-ordinated global response to prevent organised crime, corruption and terrorism”. By working against money laundering, the agency looks to tackle other crimes such as illegal drug deals, human trafficking and funding for weapons of mass destruction.

The FATF is involved in reviewing money laundering and terrorist financing techniques and constantly strengthens its standards to address new and emerging risks. The task force also monitors countries to ensure they implement its standards fully. The process of monitoring the implementation of its Recommendations is done through peer reviews or “mutual evaluations” of member countries. Following the review, the FATF lauds good efforts from countries and also holds non-complying countries to account.

For identifying non-complying countries, FATF has maintained the FATF blacklist or the “Call for action” countries and the FATF grey list or the “Other monitored jurisdictions” since 2000. The FATF blacklist is the agency’s official list of “Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories” (NCCTs) which it judges to be non-cooperative in the global fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. According to the FATF, the NCCTs are those having “significant strategic deficiencies in their regimes to counter money laundering, terrorist financing, and financing of proliferation”. In connection with the blacklisted countries, the agency cautioned its members “to apply enhanced due diligence, and in the most serious cases…, to apply counter-measures to protect the international financial system from the ongoing money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing risks emanating from the country”. As of 3rd August 2020, North Korea and Iran were on the FATF blacklist.

What is the FATF Grey List?

The FATF grey list is the agency’s official list of countries and jurisdictions that are identified as having strategic deficiencies in their regimes to counter money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing. Unlike the blacklisted ones, the grey list countries actively work with the FATF to address strategic deficiencies in their regimes. “When the FATF places a jurisdiction under increased monitoring, it means the country has committed to resolving swiftly the identified strategic deficiencies within agreed timeframes and is subject to increased monitoring,” says the FATF.

These countries are mandated to periodically report on the progress made in addressing the identified strategic deficiencies, while the FATF closely monitors the progress of their agreed action plans expeditiously and within the proposed timeframes. “The FATF does not call for the application of enhanced due diligence to be applied to these jurisdictions but encourages its members to take into account the information presented below in their risk analysis.”

List of Countries under FATF Grey List

While the greylisting is not as severe as the blacklisting, where countries are subjected to hard-hitting economic sanctions, it creates a negative impact on the economy of the listed country. Their transactions on the international level are closely monitored and thoroughly scrutinized. Some countries may also stop economic relations with a greylisted country. As on 21 February 2020, the following 18 countries are on the FATF grey list.

    1. Albania
    2. The Bahamas
    3. Barbados
    4. Botswana
    5. Cambodia
    6. Ghana
    7. Iceland
    8. Jamaica
    9. Mauritius
    10. Mongolia
    11. Myanmar
    12. Nicaragua
    13. Pakistan
    14. Panama
    15. Syria
    16. Uganda
    17. Yemen
    18. Zimbabwe

 FATF & Pakistan

Pakistan was greylisted for the first time in 2008 and subsequently from 2012 to 2015. The latest listing happened in June 2018. In its latest statement in February 2020, the FATF directed the country to work on implementing its action plan to address its strategic deficiencies with the following:

  • Remedial actions and sanctions are applied in cases of AML/CFT violations, relating to TF risk management and TFS obligations.
  • Competent authorities are cooperating and taking action to identify and take enforcement action against illegal money or value transfer services (MVTS).
  • Implementation of cross-border currency and BNI controls at all ports of entry, including applying effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions.
  • Law enforcement agencies (LEAs) are identifying and investigating the widest range of TF activity and that TF investigations and prosecutions target designated persons and entities, and those acting on behalf or at the direction of the designated persons or entities.
  • TF prosecutions result in effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions.
  • Effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions (supported by a comprehensive legal obligation) against all 1267 and 1373 designated terrorists and those acting for or on their behalf.
  • Enforcement against TFS violations including administrative and criminal penalties and provincial and federal authorities cooperating on enforcement cases.
  • Facilities and services owned or controlled by designated persons are deprived of their resources and the usage of the resources.

FATF Greylist Screening & Monitoring

The FATF greylist screening and monitoring is the process of screening customers against the FATF greylist by firms ensuring the effectiveness of their AML programme. Normally, financial regulators across the globe mandate their subjects to do necessary checks while onboarding customers and throughout their business relationships. Screening a customer against the FATF blacklist and grey list and monitoring their transactions on an ongoing basis will help mitigate AML/CFT risks effectively. For effective and efficient FATF greylist screening, regulatory technology (regtech) companies such as Tookitaki offer solutions based on modern technologies including AI and machine learning.

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We are well aware of the fact that our progress as an organization is in the hands of our employees. The more energy, time and attention we invest in them, the more yield we receive. So, we always mak...

5 Methods That Modern Money Launderers Use To Beat Detection

Society prepares the crime, the criminal commits it. DID YOU KNOW? Every year, an estimated amount in the range of US$800 billion-US$2 trillion (2-5% of global GDP) is being laundered globally Regulat...

Risk Management Conference: Positive Vibes from All Corners

The Risk Management Association’s (RMA) premier annual event, the Risk Management Conference, came to an end on 6 November, and Tookitaki had the privilege to attend the event which we believe was ...

Singapore Fintech Festival: Tookitaki to showcase advanced machine learning solutions in financial services

Singapore is assured of the Fintech world’s unwavering attention next week, as the city state, is hosting this year’s Fintech Festival during 12-16 November. Touted as the world’s largest platfo...

The RMA Clarion Call to Address Risks and the Tookitaki Way

Risk officers, doing your best today is good while preparing hard for tomorrow is extraordinary. Risk management at banks has become difficult due to operational and regulatory changes. The Risk Manag...