On 10 June 2016, Mr Juan Manuel Vega-Serrano, the President of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), published a paper on behalf of the organisation which outlined the objectives of FATF and the priorities of the Spanish presidency of FATF during 2016/17.
Mr Vega-Serrano explained that combatting terrorist financing is of critical importance to preserving the integrity of the international financial system; stating that it is FATF's top priority. Mr Vega-Serrano also said that closer collaboration is needed between international bodies and that a consolidated strategy should be implemented to tackle terrorist financing. Furthermore, he also explained that there is a need to assess the progress that countries are making in combatting terrorist financing, and to outline any additional measures that they may be required to implement.
FATF also plans to prioritise improving transparency through the implementation of beneficial ownership requirements. Mr Vega-Serrano explained that FATF intends to inform and advise international bodies with regard to FATF standards on beneficial ownership.
Mr Vega-Serrano also indicated that FATF plans to develop a 'new partnership' with the FinTech and RegTech communities. He indicated that the aim of these relationships was to support innovation whilst maintaining transparency and mitigating risk. He also explained that FATF will be proactive in developing standards and providing guidance on best practice with regard to new innovations; rather than responding to such developments after issues arise.
Mr Vega-Serrano also explained that FATF will focus on assessing and promoting the effective implementation of FATF standards in the jurisdictions within their global network. He indicated that FATF intends to use these standards to combat financial crime. Mr Vega-Serrano also explained that FATF will enhance its operational focus through greater collaboration and will provide operational benefits, such as financial intelligence units. He explained that FATF intends to develop a joint task force approach with experts from the private sector, non-governmental organisations, academia and civil society. He also explained that FATF will seek to enhance its international standing by becoming more involved in international discussions, such as those held by the G20.
He concluded that the implementation of these strategic priorities will enable FATF to continue leading global efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.