Functions of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)


The Financial Action Task Force, i.e. FATF (the Force), is the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog, established in 1989 and is based in Paris. The inter-governmental body formulates international standards aiming towards the prevention of these illegal activities and the harm caused by them to society. As a policy-making body, the Force works for generating the necessary political will for bringing about regulatory and national legislative reforms in these areas.

The 39-member body sets international standards for ensuring that the national authorities can effectively track the illicit funds linked to drugs trafficking, cyber fraud, the illicit arms trade and other serious crimes. In total, more than 200 jurisdictions and countries have committed to implementing the FATF’s Standards as part of a coordinated global response for the prevention of organised crime, corruption and terrorism. 

The objectives of the Force are the protection of the financial systems and the broader economy from threats of the financing of terrorism and proliferation and money laundering, thereby strengthening financial sector integrity along with making a contribution to safety and security. It performs certain functions for the fulfilment of such objectives. The present article discusses the functions of FATF to provide clarity on the same.

Functions and tasks of the FATF

The following functions are performed by the FATF for the fulfilment of the objectives and working as necessary with other international stakeholders-

  1. Identification and analysis of  terrorist financing, money laundering, and other threats to the financial system’s integrity, including the methods and trends involved examination of  the impact of measures designed for combatting the misuse of the international financial system; supporting national, regional and global threat and risk assessments;
  2. Development and redefinition of the international standards for combating the  issue  of financing of terrorism and proliferation and money laundering  (the FATF Recommendations)for ensuring that the recommendations are up-to-date and effective;
  3. Assessment  and monitoring its Members through ‘peer reviews’ (‘mutual evaluations’) and follow-up processes for the determination of the degree of technical compliance, implementation and effectiveness of systems for tackling money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation; refining the standard assessment methodology and common procedures for conducting mutual evaluations and evaluation follow-up;
  4. Identification and engagement with high-risk, non-co-operative jurisdictions and those with strategic deficiencies in their national regimes, and coordination of the action for the protection of the financial system’s integrity  against the threat posed by them;
  5. Promotion of the full and effective implementation of the Force’s  Recommendations by all countries through the global network of FATF-style regional bodies (FSRBs) and international organisations, ensuring a clear understanding of such standards and consistent application of mutual evaluation and follow-up processes throughout the FATF global network along with strengthening  the capacity of the FSRBs for the assessment of processes and monitoring  their member countries, including through standards training and outreach;
  6. Providing  a response as deemed necessary to significant new and emerging risks and threats to the integrity of the financial system consistent with the needs identified by the international community, including the United Nations Security Council, the G-20[1] and the Force  itself; preparation of the  guidance as needed to facilitate implementation of relevant international obligations in a manner compatible with the standards of the Force  (e.g. continuing work on money laundering, terrorist financing, including new and emerging trends, and another misuse of the financial system relating to corruption);
  7. Providing assistance to the jurisdictions in financial provisions of the United Nations Security Council resolutions on terrorism and non-proliferation, assessing the degree of implementation and the effectiveness of these measures as per the implementation of the FATF mutual evaluation and follow-up process, and preparation of the guidance as needed for facilitating the implementation of relevant international obligations in a manner compatible with the standards of the Force.
  8. Maintenance of the engagement with other international organisations and bodies, in particular the United Nations, for increasing the outreach of the activities and objectives of the Force ;
  9. Engagement  and consultation with the  civil society and private sectors  on matters related to the overall work of the Force through the annual consultative forum and other methods for maintaining regular contact for fostering transparency and dialogue towards more effective implementation of its standards;
  10. Undertaking any new tasks agreed by its Members in the course of its activities and within the framework of this Mandate, along with taking on these new tasks only where it has a particular additional contribution to make while avoiding duplication of existing efforts elsewhere.
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India formulated the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002, effectuated from 1st July 2005, after following the recommendations of the FATF. India became its member in the year 2010, and since then, it has been committed to implementing the recommendations of the Force for combating the issue of money laundering in the country, thereby helping it in the fulfilment of its objectives for which the Force performs the functions discussed above.

Read our Article: What is FATF (Financial Action Task Force)?

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