FinCEN: Iceland, Mongolia removed from task force’s ‘increased monitoring’ list

Updates to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) list of jurisdictions with strategic anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) and counter-proliferation financing deficiencies were issued in an advisory Friday from Treasury’s financial crimes enforcement unit, showing that Iceland and Mongolia have been taken off the task force’s “increased monitoring” list.

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) said the updates “may affect U.S. financial institutions’ obligations and risk-based approaches with respect to relevant jurisdictions.”

The advisory notes that the FATF publicly identifies jurisdictions that are actively working with it to address strategic AML/CFT deficiencies. In response to the measures countries have adopted to contain the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), such as confinement and travel restrictions, the FATF gave the option for countries publicly identified on the FATF lists of jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies to report their progress at the October 2020 meetings or to defer reporting, in which case their February 2020 statements remain in place.

FinCEN said the task force on Oct. 23 updated its “Jurisdictions Under Increased Monitoring” statement, removing Iceland and Mongolia from the list after conducting on-site visits to those countries and verifying that each is implementing its reforms. “Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, not all countries reported to the FATF. Therefore, statements of those jurisdictions that deferred reporting may not necessarily reflect the most recent status in the jurisdiction’s AML/CFT regime,” it noted.

That said, it noted that jurisdictions remaining under increased monitoring include Albania, The Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Ghana, Jamaica, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Syria, Uganda, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.

Advisory on the Financial Action Task Force-Identified Jurisdictions with Anti-Money Laundering, Combating the Financing of Terrorism, and Proliferation Deficiencies