Philippines remains on FATF Grey List

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has updated its grey list.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has updated its grey list.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) says the Philippines needs to continue to work on implementing its action plan.

The Philippines.- The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has announced that the Philippines will remain on its “grey list” of untrustworthy jurisdictions following the organisation’s latest plenary meeting. It said the Philippines must continue implementing its action plan to address strategic deficiencies.  

The anti-money laundering compliance watchdog acknowledged the Philippines has taken steps to promote understanding of targeted financial sanctions obligations at financial institutions and designated non-financial businesses and professions, increase the use of financial intelligence and investigative skills of law enforcement agencies tasked with money laundering investigations and prioritise asset tracing and confiscation at the point of conviction in criminal cases.

One of the highlighted recommendations focuses on the Philippines demonstrating effective use of AML and CFT controls to mitigate risks associated with casino junkets. The FATF emphasised the urgency for the Philippines to implement its action plan promptly as deadlines for addressing strategic deficiencies expired in January 2023. 

Previously, the Philippine central bank announced that the country had been granted a one-year extension, until January 2024.

In March, the Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission established a data-sharing agreement with various government agencies, including the gaming regulator, as part of their efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. This initiative came in response to a report from the Philippine Anti-Money Laundering Council, which identified the need to strengthen AML controls within the casino sector, particularly highlighting the vulnerability of the junket system to money laundering and terrorism financing risks.

See also: Philippine casino sector needs stronger AML controls, watchdog says

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