IMF/World Bank to integrate assessments

WASHINGTON, DC -- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank will jointly adopt a comprehensive and integrated approach to assessing compliance with international standards for fighting money laundering and terrorist financing in member countries. They have also agreed to step up the delivery of technical assistance to those countries whose financial systems are most at risk.

The decision, endorsed by the two institutions’ boards, builds on the recent 12-month joint pilot programme of assessments of international standards conducted in co-operation with international partners engaged in combating money laundering and financing of terrorism. Since the programme began in summer 2002, 41 countries have been assessed for compliance with international standards, including 33 assessments conducted by World Bank and IMF experts.

During the past year, the World Bank and the IMF responded to requests from more than 100 countries to help them build institutional capacity to fight money laundering and terrorist financing. "Technical assistance has focused on how to help countries bring their laws and regulatory systems up to international standards, build institutional capacity for financial sector institutions, and improve co-ordination with regional and international partners. The assistance has been provided through country-specific programmes benefitting 63 countries, as well as 32 regional programmes reaching more than 130 countries," the institutions said in a statement.

For the future, the World Bank and IMF each plan to carry out 10 money-laundering and terrorist-financing assessments per year as part of the joint World Bank/IMF Financial Sector Assessment Programme (FSAP) and the IMF’s initiative for offshore financial centres (OFC). The FSAP and OFC programmes include assessments of other international financial sector standards, such as the Basel Committee standards for banking supervision.

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