FATF grey list removal is imminent, says minister

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Mongolia has laid adequate grounds to get off of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)’s list of countries with strategic deficiencies, known as the grey list, and is waiting for a team to hold an onsite visit and provide final assessment, said Finance Minister Ch.Khurelbaatar on May 29.

FATF gave six recommendations to Mongolia to address its strategic deficiencies in its national anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism system back in October 2019 when the country re-entered the grey list. Mongolia’s taskforce crossed out three of the recommendations after successfully presenting its first report at FAFT working group meeting held in China in January. With just three assignments left, Mongolia declined FATF’s recent four-month postponement to deadlines of the mutual evaluation and related follow-up processes, and instead faced the issue head-on.

The implementation of the remaining tasks was assessed by the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering on May 4 and FAFT was satisfied with the report on all six recommendations, according to officials.

“We received a report summary from the FAFT Secretariat yesterday (May 28) and on its last page, it said that the six recommendations have all been fulfilled. We managed to remove the six deficiencies that put us on the grey list,” Ch.Khurelbaatar noted.

President of Mongol Bank B.Lkhagvasuren stated, “We have worked hard in the last seven months to meet requirements for getting delisted from the grey list. Mongolia reported back on its mutual evaluation earlier this year. Even though its deadline was postponed, we were granted the opportunity to report on the original schedule in digital format per Finance Minister Ch.Khurelbaatar’s request. As we’ve done a great job with the report, I’m confident we can get off the grey list after FATF’s meeting.”

An onsite review is required as part of the assessment but its date hasn’t been determined due to the COVID-19 pandemic and relevant restrictions. Officials underlined that this is a critical stage that will determine whether Mongolia will be removed from the list.

Dulguun Bayarsaikhan