From Iceland — Iceland With "Fragmented Understanding" Of Money Laundering

Iceland With “Fragmented Understanding” Of Money Laundering

Published April 10, 2018

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick

A new report from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) states that Iceland needs to improve their grasp of money laundering and terrorist financing, and to coordinate better with domestic authorities in this regard.

The report (PDF) offers plenty of praise for the work Icelandic authorities have been doing when it comes to the country’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) system. However, the country is still lacking in certain areas.

“Between 2008 and 2015, Iceland demonstrated a high level of cooperation and coordination as they focused almost exclusively on the financial crimes and complex cases surrounding the 2008 banking collapse,” the report states in part. “But, this did not extend to anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing, which has not received sufficient attention as a result.”

Icelandic authorities have a “fragmented understanding of AML/CFT risks”, FATF contends, and knowledge of what red flags to look for varies from institution to institution.

“With the exception of the three large commercial banks in Iceland, the financial sector and non-financial businesses and professions have a poor understanding of the money laundering or terrorist financing risks to which they are exposed,” FATF says. “These private sector entities have limited awareness of their AML/CFT obligations and report very few suspicious transactions in light of the risks present.”

While Iceland “must use its ability to coordinate domestic authorities and put practices in place to strengthen its efforts to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing”, FATF did note that Iceland has “demonstrated a commitment to take the necessary action to do so and the FATF welcomes the steps that country has already taken since that time.”


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