Mongolia removed from money laundering grey list

Mongolia has been officially removed from the Financial Action Task Force’s ‘grey list’ of countries at risk of harbouring illicit financial activities.

Countries with insufficient protections against financial crime are placed on the FATF’s ‘grey list’. (Image via Unsplash)
Countries with insufficient protections against financial crime are placed on the FATF’s ‘grey list’. (Image via Unsplash)

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an international watchdog set up to combat money laundering and terrorism financing. It has 39 member countries, including Mongolia’s primary strategic partners; the US, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea.

Countries with insufficient protections against money laundering and terrorism financing are placed on the FATF’s ‘grey list’, which means they are at ‘significant risk’ for these activities but are actively working with the FATF to improve.

There is some debate on whether the list really affects a country’s ability to access foreign finance or international bond markets. However, it's one step before being on the ‘black list’, which means a country can be sanctioned by the international community. Only North Korea and Iran are on the blacklist.

Mongolia was removed from the grey list on Friday, as Mongolia Weekly first reported in our Saturday newsletter.

“The FATF welcomes Mongolia’s significant progress in improving its [anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism financing] regime,” the FATF said in a statement. “Mongolia has strengthened the effectiveness of its regime and addressed related technical deficiencies to meet the commitments in its action plan regarding the strategic deficiencies that the FATF identified in October 2019.

“Mongolia is therefore no longer subject to the FATF’s increased monitoring process.”

The announcement was congratulated by the US Embassy in Ulaanbaatar and the EU Delegation to Mongolia, which said that the EU will now take steps to delist Mongolia ‘in the coming weeks.’

Iceland was the only other country removed last week. 16 countries remain on the list.

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