On November 3, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development published a speech given by Paul Vlaanderen, FATF President, on October 30, entitled “The Need for Enhanced Transparency.” The speech focused on the need, emphasized by the current global financial crisis, to ensure that the vital parts of the FATF standards which are linked to transparency issues are fully effective. President Vlaanderen stated that FATF is reviewing three transparency related issues:
- Customer due diligence obligations and beneficial ownership—One of the main principles of the FATF standards is the obligation for financial institutions to identify their customers and any underlying beneficial owners. FATF is now considering whether its current standards are still the best tool for providing maximum customer transparency.
- Transparency of legal persons and legal arrangements—FATF will seek to improve the transparency of such persons and arrangements. This should provide regulatory and supervisory agencies with better and more timely access to beneficial ownership information.
- Financial institution secrecy laws and cross-border exchange of information—FATF will examine whether certain categories of laws potentially inhibit the implementation of the FATF recommendations.
To read the speech in full, click here.