FATF Statement
Published Date: 31 October 2019

October 2019 FATF Statement

October 2019 FATF Statement


On 18 October 2019, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), of which Singapore is a member, issued an updated Public Statement that highlights the strategic deficiencies in the anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regimes of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Iran.


  • On DPRK, the FATF remains concerned by its failure to address the significant deficiencies in its AML/CFT regime and the serious threats they pose to the integrity of the international financial system. The FATF urges the DPRK to immediately and meaningfully address its AML/CFT deficiencies. The FATF has serious concerns with the money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation financing risks posed by DPRK’s illicit activities. DPRK is subject to the FATF’s call on countries to apply counter-measures and FIs should give special attention to business relationships and transactions with links, whether directly or indirectly, to the DPRK. Countries and financial institutions are called to apply effective counter‑measures, targeted financial sanctions, and other measures in accordance with the applicable United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs). In considering the range of counter-measures, FIs in Singapore should also take into account the requirements in the MAS (Sanctions and Freezing of Assets of Persons – DPRK) Regulations 2016, and relevant guidance provided by MAS.


  • On Iran, the FATF has suspended counter-measures since June 2016, in acknowledgement of Iran’s commitment to an Action Plan to address its strategic AML/CFT deficiencies. The FATF decided in October 2019 to introduce enhanced reporting mechanisms or systematic reporting of financial transactions and increased external audit requirements for financial groups with respect to any of their branches and subsidiaries located in Iran. The FATF also expressed its disappointment that the Action Plan remains outstanding. The FATF expects Iran to proceed swiftly to address all of the remaining items in its Action Plan by completing and implementing the necessary AML/CFT reforms. If Iran does not enact the Palermo and Terrorist Financing Conventions in line with the FATF Standards by February 2020, the FATF will lift the suspension of countermeasures and call on its members and urge all jurisdictions to apply effective countermeasures in line with Recommendation 19. The FATF remains concerned with the terrorism financing risk emanating from Iran and the threat this poses to the international financial system. Enhanced due diligence should therefore continue to be applied on business relationships and transactions with natural and legal persons from Iran, consistent with FATF Recommendation 19, including: (i) obtaining information on reasons for intended transactions, and (ii) conducting enhanced monitoring of business relationships, by increasing the number and timing of controls applied, and selecting patterns of transactions that need further examination.



Details of the FATF Statement can be found at:



The FATF has also issued an updated statement on its on-going process to improve global AML/CFT compliance.  This statement provides information on a list of jurisdictions that have committed to action plans to address and strengthen their respective AML/CFT deficiencies, and would assist financial institutions and relevant non-financial institutions in your risk assessment and mitigation.  The FATF Compliance statement can be found at:



Non-financial institutions that are subjected to AML/CFT requirements in Singapore are similarly advised to note the updated and new statements and take appropriate measures in accordance with your respective AML/CFT obligations, and the relevant UN Regulations.