The statement was released following the FATF Plenary, which took place in Orlando on June 20th.
According to the statement, Hong Kong’s AML/CTF system has been assessed to be compliant and effective overall, “making it the first jurisdiction in the Asia-Pacific region to have achieved an overall compliant result”. To put things into perspective, only five of 23 assessed jurisdictions have been rated overall compliant by the FATF so far.
The report also remarked the strength of Hong Kong’s legal and institutional framework for combating money laundering and terrorist financing, and its effectiveness in the areas of risk identification, law enforcement, asset recovery, counter-terrorist financing and international co-operation.
Andrew Wong, the Permanent Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury (Financial Services), was in attendance as part of the Hong Kong delegation. He commented: “The assessment result is an affirmation of our community’s concerted efforts in safeguarding a robust AML/CTF regime.”
However, Regulation Asia reports that, despite its strengths, Hong Kong still has some work to do, having “to prioritise efforts to prosecute money laundering linked to foreign predicates, increase its risk understanding, boost AML/CFT implementation by smaller institutions, and strengthen supervisory measures for some sectors”.
It is extremely encouraging to see the anti-money laundering efforts of one of the world’s top financial centres being officially recognised by the FATF and we expect more and more jurisdictions to follow, both in the Asia Pacific region and in the rest of the world.
At the same time, as AML and CTF regulatory frameworks become increasingly stronger, financial institutions are in need of effective and innovative ways to meet their compliance requirements. At Know Your Customer, we specialise in providing highly sophisticated and dynamic compliance solutions to improve the accuracy and speed of the customer on-boarding process. To learn more, request a consultation today.