Financial Action Task Force FinTech and RegTech Forum

By Jonathan Lawrence

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has published a summary of its FinTech and RegTech Forum, which was held on 25 and 26 May 2017 in San Jose, California. The FATF is an intergovernmental organisation founded in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering. At the forum over 150 representatives discussed significant trends and developments in FinTech and RegTech and shared their experiences in adapting their practices to continue to identify and mitigate the different money laundering (ML) / terrorism financing (TF) risks brought about by these developments.

Participants also agreed on five Guiding Principles to promote further dialogue:

  1. fight TF and ML as a common goal. Having a shared interest to prevent the misuse of the financial system from the threats of ML and TF, thereby strengthening financial sector integrity and contributing to safety and security;
  2. encourage public and private sector engagement. Close engagement between governments, the private sector and academia on financial innovations to aid a shared understanding of these developments, identify pertinent issues, and facilitate collaboration to address any concerns;
  3. pursue positive and responsible innovation. Being on the lookout for innovations that present opportunities to mitigate risks, increase the effectiveness of anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) measures, and benefit society in general;
  4. set clear regulatory expectations and smart regulation which address risks as well as allow for innovation. Better understanding of how existing AML/CFT obligations apply to new technologies, products, services, and new paradigms for the provision of financial services is best achieved by governments and the private sector working together to increase awareness and establish clear guidelines as needed; and
  5. fair and consistent regulation. Aiming for a regulatory environment that is commercially neutral, respects the level playing-field and minimises regulatory inconsistency both domestically and internationally.

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