On 18 October 2019, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) issued a statement confirming that as part of its mutual evaluations of its members anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing (AML / CFT) regimes it will assess the implementation of its standards to address the money laundering and terrorist financing of virtual assets. FATF members that have already undergone their mutual evaluation will be required to report back during their follow-up process on the actions they have taken in this area.

The FATF statement adds that in general terms, both global “stablecoins” and their service providers would be subject to the FATF standards either as virtual assets and virtual asset service providers or as traditional financial assets and their service providers. They should never be outside the scope of anti-money laundering controls.

The FATF adds that it is actively monitoring emerging assets including global “stablecoins”. It will continue to examine their characteristics and risks, and consider further clarifications on how the FATF standards apply to global “stablecoins” and their service providers, as well as whether further updates are necessary.

On the same date the FATF issued a statement following the outcomes of its Plenary on 16 – 18 October 2019. In that Plenary the FATF identified certain jurisdictions with strategic AML / CFT deficiencies:

  • jurisdictions no longer subject to monitoring: Ethiopia, Sri Lanka and Tunisia;
  • new jurisdictions subject to monitoring: Iceland, Mongolia and Zimbabwe;
  • Pakistan’s actions in addressing deficiencies in its AML/CFT system; and
  • monitoring Iran’s actions to address deficiencies in its AML/CFT system.

The updated FATF list of jurisdictions with AML / CFT deficiencies comprise:

  • The Bahamas;
  • Botswana;
  • Cambodia;
  • Ghana;
  • Iceland;
  • Mongolia;
  • Pakistan;
  • Panama;
  • Syria;
  • Trinidad and Tobago;
  • Yemen; and
  • Zimbabwe.