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The Fight Against Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing

An Analysis of the Financial Action Task Force and its Current Challenges

By Mr Jeremy Lin, Young Leader in Foreign and Security Policy at the GCSP
1 October 2019
SS Jeremy Lin

The Fight Against Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing

An Analysis of the Financial Action Task Force and its Current Challenges

By Mr Jeremy Lin, Young Leader in Foreign and Security Policy at the GCSP

Key points

  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) fulfills a critical role in international financial governance as the global standards-setter for antimoney laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT).

  • Money laundering and terrorist-financing challenges are evolving, particularly as AML/CFT regimes in developed countries become more robust and illicit financial flows move deeper into primarily cash-based informal economies.

  • Recent political maneuvering by FATF member states to influence the organization’s decisions and global AML/CFT standards-setting has demonstrated that the FATF and AML/CFT policymaking are vulnerable to individual state interests and that the organization’s political independence needs to be strengthened.
  • To more effectively address the above challenges, the FATF should establish an independent oversight function, provide clearer guidance and technical support to countries with deficient AML/CFT regimes, and expand the diversity of its membership.

Jeremy Lin is a Young Leader in Foreign and Security Policy at the GCSP. He previously served as a Princeton in Asia teaching fellow at China Foreign Affairs University and interned with the U.S. Commerce Department’s trade enforcement and compliance unit at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. Before his time in China, he worked as an analyst in the global compliance division of Goldman Sachs in New York City. Jeremy received his bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and is currently a joint Juris Doctor and Master of Science candidate at Georgetown University.