Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
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Anti-Money Laundering Reforms and Trends in Asia

July 31, 2007

Author(s): Birgit Baxendale

As the fight against money laundering remains an international priority, Asian governments and regulatory authorities have taken steps to tighten related legal requirements. Almost all countries in the region have adopted a legal framework criminalizing money laundering in order to conform with standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental body that develops and promotes international policies to combat money laundering. Countries have also strengthened regulation of financial institutions by introducing rules to report suspicious transactions and to verify the identity of customers. Nevertheless, a number of remaining impediments make some Asian anti-money laundering (AML) regimes less than fully effective. This Asia Focus report reviews the factors that contribute to money laundering in Asia, describes international AML standards, discusses the steps that governments have taken to address AML issues, and outlines the challenges that remain to AML efforts in the region.

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