On 14 December 2015, FATF met in order to discuss a renewed global agenda for combatting terrorist financing, in light of the new challenges posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL). FATF identified that in order to protect money being used by Islamic State terrorists, information exchange must be enhanced between operational agencies, national authorities, and between the public and private sectors.

FATF highlighted the following three key stages in its approach:

  • Understanding the impact of recent action against ISIL – the meeting reviewed current knowledge on the financing of ISIL. FATF’s report in February 2015 identified that ISIL continues to generate most of its funding within the territory it controls. FATF decided that it will work closely with the UN, the Counter-ISIL Financing Group, the Egmont Group, Interpol and other stakeholders, in order to better understand the impact of all actions taken and the evolving risks. After that stage, FATF will develop up to date terrorist financing indicators to share with the private sector.
  • Improving the exchange of information – FATF will conduct an immediate analysis across all members in order to review their understanding of the risks. Furthermore, FATF will cooperate with the Egmont Group in order to overcome information-sharing obstacles and will take immediate action to improve information exchange between government authorities and the private sector.
  • Strengthening the international standards and their implementation – FATF standards are used as an international benchmark to combat terrorist financing. After FATF’s review conducted in February 2016, FATF decided to impose additional measures for countries which have not criminalised terrorist financing or have not applied targeted financial sanctions. FATF also considered further strengthening its standards by better reflecting the UN Security Council Resolutions.

On 29 February 2016, FATF updated the G20 on the decisions taken in this meeting, and provided them with an overview of the recent progress in countering terrorist financing and the practical challenges that remain.