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FATF Warning lists – October 2019 update

News item supervision

Published: 28 October 2019

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) released two important documents following its plenary meeting in October 2019 indicating jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT regimes:

Several jurisdictions have shown their commitment to seriously addressing the identified deficiencies. Others have made less progress, such as the jurisdictions that the FATF listed in its Public Statement. These jurisdictions are showing serious deficiencies. De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) and the Ministry of Finance want to stress that more stringent measures are needed when maintaining business relations with residents of these jurisdictions, or carrying out transactions to or from these jurisdictions.

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea 

The FATF remains concerned by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) failure to address the significant deficiencies in its anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime and the serious threats they pose to the integrity of the international financial system. FATF calls on its members and other jurisdictions to apply enhanced due diligence measures proportionate to the risks arising from this jurisdiction.


Given that Iran provided political commitment and the relevant steps it has taken, the FATF decided in February 2019 to continue the suspension of counter-measures. The FATF decided at its meeting in June 2019 to continue the suspension of counter-measures, with the exception of the FATF calling upon members and urging all jurisdictions to require increased supervisory examination for branches and subsidiaries of financial institutions based in Iran, in line with the February 2019 Public Statement. In October 2019, the FATF noted that there are still items of the Action Plan not completed. In line with the June 2019 Public Statement, the FATF decided in October 2019 to call upon its members and urge all jurisdictions to introduce enhanced relevant reporting mechanisms or systematic reporting of financial transactions; and require increased external audit requirements for financial groups with respect to any of their branches and subsidiaries located in Iran. If before February 2020, Iran does not enact the Palermo and Terrorist Financing Conventions in line with the FATF Standards, then the FATF will fully lift the suspension of counter-measures and call on its members and urge all jurisdictions to apply effective counter-measures, in line with recommendation 19.

The "Improving global AML/CFT compliance" document contains a list of jurisdictions that have serious deficiencies in their AML/CFT regimes but have committed themselves to addressing them. This list includes the following jurisdictions: The Bahama’s, Botswana, Cambodia, Ghana, Iceland, Mongolia, Pakistan, Panama, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Yemen and Zimbabwe. In October 2019 Ethiopia, Sri Lanka and Tunisia have been removed from this list. Iceland, Mongolia and Zimbabwe have been added.

Financial institutions are expected to take account of specific circumstances when deciding on the necessary AML/CFT measures. They should refer to DNB's Q&A on FATF Warning lists for this purpose.

If necessary, the FATF will review its warning lists at its next plenary meeting in February 2020.