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BREAKING: FATF looks set to expel Russia, announces it is reviewing Moscow’s role; warns of cyber threats to banks

By STEPHEN RAE for AML Intelligence

FATF today said is reviewing Russia’s role at the agency following the invasion of Ukraine, with insiders predicting Moscow will be thrown out of the organisation.

In a statement this evening (Fri) FATF said the actions of Russia “run counter to the FATF core principles and represent a gross violation of the commitment upon which FATF Ministers agree to implement and support the FATF Standards.”

The task force said it is now reviewing Russia’s role at FATF and “will consider what future steps are necessary to uphold these core values.”

The Financial Action Task Force also expressed “deep sorrow due to the loss of people’s lives in connection with the tragic developments in Ukraine.”

In light of the Russian Federation’s military invasion of Ukraine, FATF expressed “its grave concern about the invasion’s impact on the money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing risk environment as well as the integrity of the financial system, the broader economy and safety and security.”

The task force said Russia’s actions ran counter to FATF principles “and represent a gross violation of the commitment upon which FATF Ministers agree to implement and support the FATF Standards.”

FATF also said it noted that malicious cyber activity targeting financial institutions and systems undermines financial integrity and stability, and could jeopardize the ability of the private sector and competent authorities to implement and monitor core AML/CFT controls. Such activity could prevent access to financial services for
legitimate users needing to access vital services.

Separately, the agency welcomed the progress made up to now by Ukraine in combating its money laundering risks, highlighted in its mutual evaluation report, relating to corruption and the theft of state assets, and the active steps taken by judicial authorities to recover assets stolen by senior officials of the former regime.

The group also said countries need to be vigilant to the possibility of emerging risks from circumvention of measures taken in order to protect the international financial system from the ML/TF/PF risks resulting from Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

FATF said it “will continue to monitor the situation closely. It will consider all options to help promote the security, safety and the integrity of the global financial system, and will respond as necessary to significant new and emerging threats and risks to the integrity of the financial systems, consistent with the needs identified by the international community.”

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