The Financial Action Task Force—a global anti-money-laundering watchdog—updated its list of jurisdictions with strategic AML, terrorist-financing, and weapons-proliferation deficiencies.

Jurisdiction Updates: The FATF added Bulgaria to its list of jurisdictions under increased monitoring and removed Albania, the Cayman Islands, Jordan, and Panama from that list. Its list of high-risk jurisdictions is unchanged.

More: The FATF also:

  • Adopted a report on how terrorist groups such as Hamas use crowdfunding techniques to raise money for their attacks.

  • Reiterated that all jurisdictions should be vigilant about risks from the circumvention of measures against Russia, whose FATF membership remains suspended due to the war in Ukraine.

New Sanctions: The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control separately announced sanctions against Russian national Ekaterina Zhdanova for using virtual currency to evade sanctions against Russian elites.

Background: The FATF earlier this year said three-quarters of jurisdictions do not comply with its AML standards for virtual assets and virtual asset service providers. The intergovernmental organization’s “Travel Rule” requires obtaining, holding, and transmitting originator and beneficiary information relating to virtual asset transactions.

ICBA View: ICBA has called on policymakers to ensure new policies directed at the crypto sector fully reflect its risks and to ensure protecting national security and implementing anti-crime measures are primary drivers of crypto policymaking and regulation.