* Considerable progress in completing FATF Action Plan
* Steps taken to strengthen Anti-Money Laundering policy framework

Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy yesterday expressed his confidence that Sri Lanka will be taken off the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) “grey list” by mid-2019.

CBSL Governor Dr. Coomaraswamy further said that Sri Lanka has recorded considerable progress in completing the Action Plan agreed with the FATF.

He further said that the CBSL has taken steps in strengthening the national Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) policy framework of the country.

“We have also expanded our reach by way of entering into a Memoranda of Understanding with several agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, Insurance Regulatory Commission and the Department of Motor Traffic. Moving ahead, several progressive policies will be adopted with the coordination of all stakeholders to deepen financial intelligence services,” Coomaraswamy added.

Sri Lanka was one among the list of countries which have been identified as countries that have strategic AML/CFT deficiencies. Similar countries include Ethiopia, Pakistan, Serbia, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and Yemen.

All the countries have developed their unique action plan with the FATF to find solutions to their situations. Iraq and Vanuvatu are two jurisdictions that were recently taken off from the FATF list.

In mid-2018, the FATF had observed that “Since November 2017, when Sri Lanka made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and APG to strengthen the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime and address any related technical deficiencies, Sri Lanka has taken steps towards improving its AML/CFT regime, including by issuing DNFBP sector-specific AML/CFT guidelines, enacting amendments to its Trust Ordinance to establish a central register of trusts, and undertaking outreach to its higher risk DNFBP sectors.”

“Sri Lanka should continue to work on implementing its action plan to address its strategic deficiencies, including by enacting amendments to the MACMA to ensure that mutual legal assistance may be provided on the basis of reciprocity, enhancing risk-based supervision and outreach to FIs and high-risk DNFBPs, including through prompt and dissuasive enforcement actions and sanctions, as appropriate, continuing to provide additional case studies and statistics to demonstrate that competent authorities can obtain beneficial ownership information in relation to legal persons in a timely manner, continue demonstrating the implementation of the central register of trusts and establishing a Targeted Financial Sanctions (TFS) regime to implement relevant UNSCRs related to Iran, and demonstrating effective implementation of this and of the UN Regulation related to the DPRK,” the FATF’s report further states.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 by the Ministers of its Member jurisdictions. FATF mandate include setting standards and to promoting effective implementation of legal, taking regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and the financing of proliferation, and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. FATF also works to identify national-level vulnerabilities with the aim of protecting the international financial system from misuse.

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