HM Treasury News Release
22 June 2000
TACKLING MONEY LAUNDERING
UK WELCOMES IDENTIFICATION OF NON CO-OPERATING JURISDICTIONS
An enhanced process of dialogue to help and encourage fifteen
countries and territories identified as non co-operating jurisdictions
adopt measures to combat money laundering announced by the Financial
Action Task Force (FATF) today was welcomed by Economic Secretary
Miss Johnson said :
"The fight against money laundering is one of the most important
challenges facing the international financial community today.
"The FATF decision to identify and publish a list of countries and
territories that do not meet international anti-money laundering standards
is an essential part of that fight. It will inform financial institutions
around the world about the nature of the money laundering threat,
and to encourage listed countries to improve their practices.
"The UK Government endorses the FATF request to financial institutions
to give special attention to business relations and transactions with
persons and institutions in jurisdictions failing to meet these standards
and will draw it to the attention of UK financial institutions.
"I particularly welcome the FATF decision to enter into a dialogue
with listed jurisdictions to encourage them to raise their standards
to comply with the FATF 40 Recommendations, and to provide advice
and, where appropriate, technical assistance to help them do so. Only
after such attempts have been made should the necessity for further
measures be considered.
"The UK agrees this approach and is prepared to play a full part in
the follow-up to ensure that international criminals will find it
harder to conceal the profits of their illegal activities behind the
shelter of lax money laundering controls.
"Today's announcement is a further endorsement of the international
consensus growing in favour of the need to set aside banking secrecy
laws where these are inconsistent with international standards to
combat financial crime. While there is sometimes a proper role for
professional confidentiality for good commercial reasons, the UK is
firmly opposed to this being exploited by criminals to shelter the
illicit proceeds of their crimes."
The FATF lists 15 jurisdictions which fail to meet international anti-money
St. Kitts and Nevis
St Vincent and Grenadines
Commenting on the inclusion of the Cayman Islands, a UK Overseas
Territory, Miss Johnson added :
"The UK Government reaffirms its determination to work with the
Cayman Islands to raise their standards to international levels. We
recognise that they have already made a political commitment to do
so and are co-operating fully with the current review of their regulatory
systems being carried out by KPMG. We believe that when any recommendations
made by this review are fully implemented, international standards
will be met."
NOTES TO EDITORS
The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) was established
by the G7 Summit in Paris in 1989 to examine measures to combat money
In April 1990, the FATF issued a report containing a programme of
Forty Recommendations in this area. These are designed to provide
a comprehensive blueprint for action against money laundering, covering
the criminal justice system and law enforcement; the financial system
and its regulation; and international co-operation. They are the internationally
accepted minimum standards in the fight against money laundering.
The FATF today published a list of "non-cooperative jurisdictions"
in its report on the global anti-money laundering system. The list
was published in response to a call by the G7 in 1998 to consider
major short-comings in the global system for combatting money laundering.
The announcement was made at a meeting of the FATF in Paris, at which
the UK Government was represented by senior Treasury and FCO officials.
Copies of the report and press notice are available at the FATF web-site
The FATF report contains summaries of the reports on all 29 jurisdictions
on which the evaluation process was completed. Of the 29, 15 have
been found to be non-cooperative.
The list of non-cooperative jurisdictions will be review and revised
on an ongoing basis. The next full meeting of the FATF will be in
October, and the list is expected to be reconsidered then. G7 Finance
Ministers will discuss these issues at their meeting in Japan on 8
Following the UK's White Paper 'Partnership for Progress and Prosperity
- Britain and the Overseas Territories' in March 1999, the UK
and the Overseas Territories Governments with significant financial
services sectors agreed to jointly commission and finance an in-depth
review by independent regulatory experts. KPMG were appointed in December
1999. They should report by July 2000, with their findings published
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