Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Implementation of Anti-Money Laundering Standards in Asia

Author(s): Susan Desai

November 2012

Asia Focus

Global money laundering and terrorist financing activities impose significant costs on the world economy by damaging the effective operations of national economies. In response to the challenges posed by these activities, Asian governments and regulators have strengthened their anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) regimes by adopting standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental agency that develops and promotes policies to combat AML/CFT. Economies in the region have strengthened AML laws, established financial intelligence units, developed AML/CFT supervisory frameworks for financial institutions, and improved coordination and cooperation between national agencies and across economies. Nevertheless, compliance with these standards across Asia is uneven and generally remains low. This Asia Focus report reviews some of the unique factors that contribute to money laundering in Asia, describes international AML/CFT standards, analyzes the region’s progress towards fuller compliance with FATF recommendations, and outlines challenges that remain.

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