Statement by the FATF President: COVID-19 and measures to combat illicit financing

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The members of the FATF, both domestically and multilaterally, are applying every available aid to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. FATF has encouraged governments to synergize activities with financial institutions and other businesses to make use of the flexibility built into the FATF’s risk-based approach to tackle the threats posed by COVID-19 without being complacent to alert of new and emerging illicit finance risks. Criminals have been using the COVID-19 pandemic to their advantage by continuing their financial fraud and exploitation scams, including advertising and trafficking in counterfeit medicines, offering fraudulent investment opportunities, and engaging in phishing schemes that prey on virus-related fears. The national government and global our bodies are alerting residents and groups of these scams, which consist of impostor, investment and product scams, as well as insider trading on the subject of COVID-19.

Supervisors, financial intelligence units and law enforcement agencies should not hesitate to exchange information with the private sector to prioritize and tackle key ML risks, particularly those related to fraud, and TF risks linked to COVID-19. Financial establishments and other groups ought to stay vigilant to emerging ML and TF risks and make certain that they maintain to efficaciously mitigate these risks.  With people observing lockdown worldwide, the FATF encourages the use of technology, including Fintech, Regtech and Suptech to the fullest extent possible as people cannot go to the banks for physical transactions. When financial institutions or other businesses discover decreased ML/TF dangers, the FATF Standards permit them to take simplified due diligence measures, which may assist them to adapt to the current situation.

Regulators, supervisors, economic intelligence units, regulation enforcement government and other applicable corporations can provide aid, steering and assistance for the private zone on how countrywide AML/CFT laws and rules could be applied at some stage in the current crisis. Such guidance can give monetary institutions and other agencies reassurance that the government share their information of challenges and dangers involved inside the modern-day situation, and of the correct actions to take. Authorities in some nations have already taken swift action and provided this form of advice. The FATF, International Monetary Fund, World Bank and United Nations are working with their membership to mitigate the impacts of the COVID19 crisis, including through the use of AML/CFT measures, where relevant. Besides, the FATF is working with its members and the FATF-Style Regional Bodies to identify and share good practices in response to common issues faced in many affected countries.