Share

WOCCU Applauds Efforts to Reduce De-Risking

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (Basel Committee), the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI), the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Financial Stability Board (FSB) announced their endorsement of the Wolfsberg Group’s publication of the Correspondent Banking Due Diligence Questionnaire to help address the decline in the number of correspondent banking relationships. The questionnaire aims to standardize the collection of information that correspondent banks ask from other banks when opening and maintaining these relationships which should alleviate the need for correspondent banks to “de-risk” otherwise viable financial institutions from their customer base.  This “de-risking” has been a source of concern for credit unions and can impact their ability to send and receive international payments or connect to various payment flows. 

WOCCU is pleased to see this development as it has long advocated for measures to reduce de-risking including supporting using the Wolfsberg Group Questionnaire (See letter to the Basel Committee from February 2017).  Additionally, WOCCU engaged with FATF (See July 2017 letter, April 2017 letter, and August 2016 letter) for measures to address the issue.  This endorsement is welcome news and should assist credit unions with their correspondent banking relationships.

Tags
FATF, Basel, CPMI

Financial Inclusion and Information Sharing among Topics at FATF Meeting

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Financial Action Task Force of Latin America (GAFILAT) are concluding the first Plenary meeting under the Argentinean FATF Presidency (Nov. 1-3) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The FATF is the international standard setting body for anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) rules.  The purpose of the FATF Plenary meeting is to discuss proposed and final standards for international AML/CFT rules.

Those topics pertinent to credit unions being discussed are as follows:

  • Counter terrorist financing: Discussions on a project that identifies how terrorist organizations fund the recruitment of new members, including reviewing progress in the implementation of the FATF operational plan to tackle all sources, techniques and channels of terrorist financing, including updating the knowledge base on ISIL/Da’ech’ financing strategy;
  • Financial inclusion: Reviewing the results of a project aimed at encouraging countries to implement the FATF Recommendations that will allow financially excluded access to the regulated financial sector, while at the same time maintaining effective safeguards against money laundering and terrorist financing. A proposed supplement to the FATF 2013 guidance on financial inclusion will identify customer due diligence models that are compatible with the goal of making financial services accessible and available to all; and
  • Information sharing: Discussions on the draft guidance for private sector information sharing, which will cover information-sharing at group wide level and between financial institutions not belonging to the same group. Better private sector information sharing will improve transparency and access to beneficial ownership and contribute to detecting financial flows in support of terrorism.
WOCCU engaged the FATF regarding information sharing and financial inclusion AML/CFT issues at a FATF Private Sector Participation Group meeting in March of this year at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna, Austria, and also filed written comments with the FATF on these issues in April and July.  We urged the FATF to reduce regulatory burdens on credit unions by clarifying how and when different financial institutions can share information about electronic payments transactions, such as to resolve AML/CFT red flags.  We expect the FATF to issue new guidance on AML/CFT information sharing in the near future.

WOCCU’s recent comments to the FATF include:: 

  • July, 2017, Comments on the FATF Draft Information Sharing Guidance Paper.  View the comment letter here.
  • April, 2017 on Information Sharing, Correspondent Banking and Financial Inclusion-related Customer Due Diligence:  View the comment letter here.
  • March, 2017 at the FATF meeting in Vienna hosted by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. See the press release here.
Tags
FATF