Campaigners Urge Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to Strengthen Global Finance

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As governments around the world freeze the assets of former dictators, campaigners and governments from the Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development (Task Force) meet in Paris this Saturday to discuss how to tackle dirty money flows. This is ahead of a high-level meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which sets the international anti-money laundering standards.

“The recent events in the Middle East and North Africa have created a historic opportunity for substantive and lasting change,” said Heather Lowe, legal council and director of government affairs of Task Force member Global Financial Integrity. “This is a defining moment in global economics and political history; FATF must move forward to strengthen key standards for pursuing dirty money and bringing criminal and corrupt individuals to justice.”

“In recent weeks we have seen country after country freeze the assets of former dictators—but why was the money there in the first place?” said Robert Palmer of Task Force member Global Witness. “This is not about cooperating to get the money back after it has gone; this is about proactive, know-your-customer, due-diligence requirements to ensure that banks know where their customers are getting their funds from and that they are not the proceeds of corruption.”

The “FATF 40+9 Recommendations” to be considered at next week’s FATF plenary meeting are the global standard for laws designed to stop the flow of dirty money, whether from corruption, terrorism or tax evasion. Task Force recommendations (PDF) to improve them will include: expanding and strengthening how banks handle money from high level political officials, preventing the creation of anonymous companies that can’t be traced to a real person and tax evasion being added as a trigger crime for money laundering.

Civil society organizations Christian Aid, Eurodad, Global Financial Integrity, Global Witness, Transparency International, Tax Justice Network and Tax Research will be meeting with several Task Force government partners and representatives of non-partner governments who will be attending the FATF meetings next week.

Click here (PDF) to download a full copy of the Task Force’s recommendations to the FATF.