Sri Lanka sets eyes on exiting FATF grey list by this June

  • FATF recognizes SL’s action plan to counter money laundering, terrorist financing 
  • Team of FATF evaluators to visit SL during May 2019 for on-site assessment 


The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global policy setter on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT), has made the initial determination that Sri Lanka has completed its action plan and warrants an on-site assessment to verify that the implementation of the country’s AML/CFT reforms has begun and is being sustained and that the necessary political commitment remains in place to sustain the implementation in the future.
The decision was taken at the FATF Plenary held during February 20-22, 2019, in Paris.
In October 2016, the FATF announced that Sri Lanka will be subjected to a review of the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) of the FATF, to assess the progress of the AML/CFT effectiveness in the country.
After several discussions and progress reports, the FATF indicated that Sri Lanka has not made sufficient progress in four areas, namely international cooperation, supervision, legal persons and arrangements and targeted financial sanctions on proliferations (North Korea and Iran).
As a result, the FATF at its plenary held at Buenos Aires, Argentina, in October 2017, listed Sri Lanka as a jurisdiction with strategic AML/CFT deficiencies in the FATF’s Compliance Document, which is more commonly identified as the “grey list” and provided a time-bound Action Plan for implementation.
Since the listing in November 2017, the Financial Intelligence Unit, together with other stakeholders, has taken a series of effective and tangible steps to implement the FATF Action Plan.

Sri Lanka reported the progress achieved in the implementation of the Action Plan regularly to the FATF.
As per the decision taken by the FTAF Plenary, a team of evaluators will be visiting Sri Lanka during May 2019 and the team will meet all relevant stakeholders, including the private sector and the highest political authorities to verify the implementation of the FATF Action Plan and to ascertain Sri Lanka’s political commitment towards the implementation of AML/CFT.
The on-site team will make their recommendations to the FATF Plenary scheduled to be held in June 2019, which could result in Sri Lanka exiting the grey list in the June 2019.

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