Pakistan has made significant progress between May and September to meet the action plan set by the international terror financing watchdog FATF in different areas to demonstrate the effectiveness of its Anti-Money Laundering safety regime, the chief of country's central bank has said.
Pakistan was placed on the Grey List by the Paris-based watchdog in June last year and was given a plan of action to complete it by October 2019 or face the risk of being placed on the Black List with Iran and North Korea.
The FATF retained Pakistan on the Grey List and warned the country of action for its failure in combating money laundering and terror financing. The decision was taken after a five-day plenary of the FATF held in Paris early this month.
It expressed dissatisfaction at the progress made by Pakistan and gave it a six-month deadline to complete the tasks.
"There was a major rethink of the approach being taken by the authorities in the early to mid-2019. Consequently, a number of steps were taken to significantly strengthen our approach to make progress on these issues," said Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Reza Baqir on Monday.
Significant progress was made between May and September to meet the action plan set by the FATF in different areas to demonstrate the effectiveness of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) safety regime of Pakistan, he said.
Baqir, however, stressed the need for putting in more effort to progress on the remaining areas to ensure that Pakistan came out of the Grey List in the next meeting of the FATF.
He was speaking after inaugurating the conference on Anti-Money Laundering/Combating Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) and Trade-Based Money Laundering (TBML), The Express Tribune reported.
The conference, conducted by the central bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB), was aimed at mitigating the risks of money laundering and terrorism financing.
The governor informed that since the grey-listing, the SBP had arranged many AML/CFT outreach and awareness programmes for its regulated entities and stakeholders and that the conference was a useful platform to understand the AML/CFT challenges being faced globally and the best practices followed in mitigating such challenges.
He urged the financial sector to make efficient use of technologies for the assessment of risks, controls and ongoing monitoring of financial transactions and enhancing capacity by continued training of their employees.
Baqir emphasised that trade-based money laundering posed complex and sophisticated challenges and that SBP inspection teams conducted thematic inspections of banks with respect to export and import of specific goods.