Ghana, Nigeria joins Cuba and Pakistan on global anti-money laundering blacklist
Category: Money Market
February 19, 2012
The February 16th decision by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global standard setting body for anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism AML/CFT, to place Ghana on its anti-money laundering blacklist will impose new costs on Ghana ’s financial institutions and increase transaction costs for foreign exchange operations.
According to the report, “ Ghana has taken steps towards improving its AML/CFT regime, including by ratifying the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime and issuing CDD guidelines. However despite Ghana ’s high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and GIABA to address its strategic AML/CFT deficiencies, Ghana has not made sufficient progress in implementing its action plan, and certain strategic AML/CFT deficiencies remain.”
The FATF therefore called on Ghana to address these deficiencies, including by: (1) adequately criminalizing money laundering and terrorist financing, (2) establishing and implementing adequate measures for the confiscation of funds related to money laundering, (3) establishing a fully operational and effectively functioning Financial Intelligence Unit and (4) establishing and implementing adequate procedures to identify and freeze terrorist assets.
Ghana’s financial system, which has largely escaped the recent banking crisis in Nigeria and the global financial meltdown, may now see transactions costs for its forex operations rise as foreign correspondent banks may charge higher fees to effect transfers on behalf of Ghanaian clients.
In the case of Nigeria , the country was deemed to have taken steps towards improving its AML/CFT regime, including by enacting AML/CFT legislation and commencing supervision across all sectors. However, despite Nigeria’s high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and GIABA to address its strategic AML/CFT deficiencies, further engagement with Nigeria is needed to clarify whether these deficiencies have been addressed, including: (1) adequately criminalising money laundering and terrorist financing (Recommendation 1 and Special Recommendation II); and (2) implementing adequate procedures to identify and freeze terrorist assets (Special Recommendation III). The FATF encourages Nigeria to address its remaining deficiencies and continue the process of implementing its action plan.
The Decision/list: Jurisdictions with strategic AML/CFT deficiencies that have not made sufficient progress in addressing the deficiencies or have not committed to an action plan developed with the FATF to address the deficiencies identified.