A Guide to Anti-Money Laundering for Crypto Firms

Priorities of the German FATF Presidency

Regulation Knowledge & Training

On July 1st  2020 Dr Marcus Pleyer (Federal Ministry of Finance) assumed the presidency of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany. 

The FATF’s planned areas of focus during its two year German presidency were outlined in Pleyer’s inaugural address. These provide useful insight for compliance teams on where they can expect to see additional guidance and recommendations.

Digital transformation of money laundering prevention systems

Several initiatives will focus on exploiting the opportunities arising from digital transformation to make the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing (AML/CFT) more efficient. Two specific areas of focus are:

  • Conducting a study on the scope of new technologies – and monitoring systems in particular – to enhance AML/CFT programs
  • Developing new approaches to data pooling and analysis with the aim of using artificial intelligence to more effectively analyze large volumes of data for anti-money laundering purposes, while complying with data protection regulations

Ethnically or racially motivated terrorism

The FATF will work to gain a detailed understanding of the financial flows and cross-border links between terrorist groups and individuals, as well as their funding and donation structures, particularly in the area of ethnic or racially motivated terrorism.

Migrant smuggling

With regard to illegal migrant smuggling, the German presidency will stimulate new initiatives focused on financial flows and connections within smuggling networks. In doing so, it will be able to build on the investigative findings already available from international organizations such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Interpol.

Environmental crime

The German presidency of the FATF also plans to expand initiatives already in place to prevent the illegal trade in wildlife, and further advance efforts on this started during the Chinese presidency. To this end, the FATF will address the impact of environmental crime and the links between environmental crime and money laundering, and analyze the underlying financial flows.

Illegal arms trafficking

Another focus will be the illegal arms trade. Criminal activity in this area not only perpetuates international conflict, but is a major source of terrorist financing. Building on a number of previous initiatives within the FATF’s global network, the aim will be to gain a better understanding of the links between arms trafficking and terrorist financing, to raise awareness of the tasks ahead for the international community and to further improve existing safeguards against arms trafficking.

The German presidency of the FATF is scheduled to last for two years and will rotate from 30 June 2022. 

To learn more about the FATF’s recent work and reports under its German presidency, check out our other blogs

FATF June 2021 Plenary: Key initiatives and takeaways

The FATF Plenary: A spotlight on VASPs

FATF October Plenary: Key Takeaways For Compliance Teams

Philippines finds itself on FATF’s gray list once again

The removal of Mauritius from FATF’s grey list, and the implications for compliance teams


Originally published December 1, 2021, updated December 1, 2021

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