Combating terrorist financing in the information age

The explosion of the information world has been a benefit for our organisation, but has raised its own set of new problems.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental policymaking body, with a ministerial mandate to establish international standards for combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation.

It relies on building networks, accessing information and issuing reports. We use tools such as a blacklist which helps to put peer pressure on countries to step up their fight against terrorist financing and money laundering.

With the Internet, more people can access our work, and more people can consult with us too. Also, the impact of our announcements and awareness of the FATF and what it means has probably been heightened by the likes of social media, particularly retweets. But while we welcome increased transparency and openness, for the FATF to be effective, it remains necessary for us to maintain confidentiality and discretion. This need has been a hallmark of work at the OECD too. Deciding on the balance between transparency and discretion, communication and confidentiality, is a matter of judgement.

We do not operate by blazing lights, but by soft pressure and building confidence and trust. Real actions sometimes depend on discretion and patience, and the fast speed of real time communications can add unwanted pressures.

There is also another challenge: improved IT has made it easier for people to finance terrorism and created opportunities to cover up money laundering activities. The FATF has recognised the need to address the risks posed by new technologies being used by criminals to launder money and finance terrorism. The FATF standards require countries to assess the risks posed by new products and delivery methods, and we have conducted studies into emerging money laundering and terrorism financing techniques to ensure that its standards remain up-to-date.

There has been a significant rise in recent years in the number of transactions and the volume of funds moving through new and innovative payment methods such as prepaid cards, mobile payments and Internet-based payment services. The rapid development and dynamic nature of these new payment methods has created challenges for countries and private sector institutions to ensure that these products and services are not misused by criminals. The risks of money laundering and terrorist financing vary depending on the functionality of the service and the presence of measures to prevent criminal misuse.

The Internet and related technologies such as Twitter and Facebook have contributed to strengthening the role and the image of the FATF’s Global Network. Over 190 countries have committed to implementing the FATF Recommendations and protecting the international financial system from misuse by criminals and terrorists. These countries are part of the FATF’s Global Network through their membership of the FATF and/or one of the FATFstyle regional bodies. This structure is represented in our new website which has been designed as a gateway to these bodies too. So when you see our website, you see the FATF Global Network.

Visit www.fatf-gafi.org and www.oecd.org/internet/

©OECD Observer No 293 Q4 November 2012




Economic data

GDP : +0.5%, Q4 2014
Employment rate: 65.9%, Q4 2014
Annual inflation : 0.60% Mar 2015
Trade : -3.0% exp, -3.7 imp, Q4 2014
Unemployment : 6.993% Feb 2015
More moderate expansion ahead? Composite leading indicators
Updated: 12 May 2015

E-Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the latest news from the OECD by signing up for our e-newsletter :

Twitter feed

Suscribe now

<b>Subscribe now!</b>

To receive your exclusive print editions delivered to you directly


Online edition
Previous editions

Don't miss

  • The IMF calls for a decisive energy subsidy reform in order to use the freed resources to meet critical public spending needs and to reduce pollution ahead of the Paris climate change summit.
  • More than 35 million young people, aged 16-29, across OECD countries are neither employed nor in education or training according to the newly released OECD Skills Outlook.
  • Have a look at these posters representing a world without fundamental rights at work – including child labour, forced labour and inequality. Read more about this ILO image competition here.
  • Rising inequality threatens social cohesion and growth. Income inequality has reached historical highs in most OECD countries and is still rising.
  • Time to vote! As the dust settles after the UK general election, let’s remember that voting at the ballot box is not an innate right enjoyed by everyone. Indeed, although the number of democracies across the world has spiked from 48 in 1989 up to 95 today, billions of people are still living in non-democratic, authoritarian regimes.
  • How can we achieve a zero-carbon future? A new World Bank report provides a few insights.
  • Today alcohol causes more deaths worldwide than HIV/AIDS, violence and tuberculosis combined. In order to reduce damages to health, the OECD recommends that regular drinkers reduce their consumption by one unit a week, that is, a small glass of wine for example. In addition, increasing prices, regulating advertising, effectively treating drinking problems together with stricter police enforcement would greatly contribute to reducing damages done to individuals and society.
  • video alcohol
  • Africa vs profit shifting African countries heavily rely on the income generated by multinationals’ taxation, which can represent as much as 88% of a country’s tax base. Little wonder Africa is involved in the OECD’s initiative to address tax base erosion caused by profit shifting, known as BEPS. The need to strengthen inter-governmental co-operation to curb cross-border tax losses was reaffirmed at the Africa Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) in Sandton on 21 April 2015.
  • Africa v. profit shifting
  • Rana Plaza
  • Wal-Mart, Other Retailers Sued over Bangladesh Factory Collapse Two years after the April 24, 2013, Bangladeshi factory collapse in the capital of Dhaka, the victims' families filed a lawsuit in U.S. federal court in Washington against Wal-Mart Stores Inc and other U.S.-based companies that sourced out their products from the Rana factory. Read more on Telesur's website.
  • Today, after three years of drought, California is in the midst of a full-blown political and environmental crisis, with restrictions imposed across the state, reports the Financial Times.
  • Lack of water holding back Asian growth In Asia, the world’s most dynamic region with the fastest economic growth, 75% of countries face serious water shortages.
  • ADB water
  • Why is the gap between rich and poor growing despite rises in GDP? Do benefits help? Does aid work? (The Guardian)
  • Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis expressed its scepticism towards the Eurozone’s institutions and gave ideas for ways forward. "Greece must become reformable again", Yanis Varoufakis said.
  • Business brief: Israel's water
  • #OECD360: Your country in figures.
  • How to ensure transparency in public procurement? Read Cobus de Swardt's article on OECD Insights.
  • Asia to maintain a strong 6.3% growth rate in 2015 and 2016, according to the Asian Development Bank
  • After three decades of extraordinary economic development, China is shifting to a slower and more sustainable growth path, according to the OECD's latest Economic Survey of China.
  • In pursuit of the American Dream
  • Iceland's strong recovery stems from the good use of its natural resources, the energy sector and tourism according to Peter Dohlman, IMF Mission Chief for Iceland.
  • cyclone
  • Government representatives and experts from around the world are gathering in Japan this week to develop a post-2015 framework for global disaster risk reduction. The World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) will share expertise at the conference.
  • Switzerland’s recent moves towards greater tax transparency were welcomed by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, based at the OECD, as a boost to international efforts to end tax evasion. Work will continue with Switzerland, notably on implementation, in 2015.
  • Help bridge the gap between business integrity policies & practices:participate in this new OECD survey by clicking on the image.
  • What can we do to promote better literacy skills for all? Read Andreas Schleicher's latest blog on oecdeducationtoday.
  • pisa
  • Secretary General Angel Gurría describes the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) as a useful tool to enhance educational systems but states that improving a country's ranking should not be a goal per se. Article in Spanish by El País.
  • [VIDEO] Although many countries have made great progress in narrowing gender gaps in education, new challenges are looming.
  • Tim Harcourt Video
  • G20 and Australia: Bestselling economist Tim Harcourt speaks to the BBC about how Australia has gone from "Down Under to Down Wonder".

Most Popular Articles

Poll

What issue are you most concerned about in 2015?

Euro crisis
Unemployment
Global warming
International conflict
Other

OECD Insights Blog

NOTE: All signed articles in the OECD Observer express the opinions of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the official views of OECD member countries.

All rights reserved. OECD 2015