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International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The United Kingdom faces significant money laundering threats from foreign criminal proceeds, owing to its status as a global financial center, but the authorities have a strong understanding of these risks. The authorities estimated the realistic possibility of hundreds of billions of pounds of illicit proceeds being laundered in their jurisdiction. The money laundering risks facing the United Kingdom include illicit proceeds from foreign crimes such as transnational organized crime, overseas corruption, and tax crimes. Financial services, trust, and company service providers (TCSPs), accountancy and legal sectors are high-risk for money laundering, with also significant emerging risks coming from cryptoassets. Some Crown Dependencies (CDs) and British Overseas Territories (BOTs) have featured in U.K. money laundering investigations. Brexit and COVID pandemic have an impact upon the money laundering risks in the United Kingdom. The authorities nevertheless have demonstrated a deep and robust experience in assessing and understanding their ML/TF risks. Leveraging technology tools such as big data and machine learning to analyze cross-border payments may add further dimension to their risk assessments. This technical note (TN) will focus on key aspects of the United Kingdom’s anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime: risk-based AML/CFT supervision, entity transparency and international cooperation.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
COVID-19 pandemic: The Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) work was conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, so this Technical Note (TN) does not assess the impact of the crisis or the recent crisis-related policy measures. Nonetheless, given the FSAP’s focus on vulnerabilities and policy frameworks, the findings and recommendations of the TN remain pertinent. The Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (DFSA) has improved standards in its oversight of banking and insurance sectors since the last FSAP. Nevertheless, risks persist, both in traditional forms, and new areas, such as cyber risk, AML, and innovative market entrants. This note, selects topics to meet evolving supervisory challenges and the expectation that the international supervisory standards themselves will likewise continue to rise.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This note presents a targeted review of selected aspects in the regulation and supervision of banks in Norway. The review is carried out as part of the 2020 Norway Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) and the findings and recommendations are based on the regulatory framework in place and the supervisory practices employed at end-October 2019. The note focuses on the powers and responsibilities, independence, and resourcing of Finanstilsynet (FSA); its supervisory approach and enforcement powers and practices; key aspects of the prudential framework; and mechanisms to prevent abuse of financial services.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Much of the work of the Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) was conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the missions ending on February 13, 2020. Given the FSAP’s focus on medium-term challenges and vulnerabilities, however, its findings and recommendations for strengthening policy and institutional frameworks remain pertinent. The report was updated to reflect key developments and policy changes since the mission work was completed. It also includes a risk analysis that quantifies the possible impact of the COVID-19 crisis on bank solvency. Since the previous FSAP in 2015, the Norwegian authorities have taken welcome steps to strengthen the financial system. Regulatory capital requirements for banks were raised and actions were taken to bolster the weak capital position of insurers. Alongside other macroprudential measures, temporary borrower-based measures for residential mortgages were introduced, which seem to have had some moderating impact on segments of the housing market. The resolution framework was also strengthened, with the implementation of the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) and the designation of Finanstilsynet (FSA) as the resolution authority.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This technical note on banking supervision for Malta focusses on selected topics in relation to the supervision of less significant institutions, which are not directly supervised by the European Central Bank, and on non-European Union branches. The Malta Financial Services Authority’s (MFSA) internal organization reflects its role of an integrated supervisor, and several units are involved in supervision and/or enforcement. Review of supervisory measures reveals that the MFSA has taken decisive action in several instances, but such actions have not been timely. A new organizational structure of the MFSA has been proposed recently. Developing resources devoted to enforcement will enable the unit to spend less time on the preparation of the sanctions and more time on ongoing supervisory monitoring. Involving the head of enforcement and the General Counsel in the decision-making process is positive. The report recommends developing a five-year plan to increase the MFSA’s budgetary resources and capacity to reflect the size and importance of the financial sector in Malta.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Financial System Stability Assessment of Malta shows that while Malta has benefited from considerable financial inflows, the associated risks, especially related to money laundering and terrorism financing, need to be closely monitored and addressed. Key metrics suggest that the banking system is in good health, but challenges exist. The banking system remains resilient under a severe scenario, with weaknesses limited to a few small banks. The system is sufficiently capitalized to absorb losses in the event of a severe macroeconomic shock, but risky exposures would lead to potential losses at a few small banks. The analysis suggests that ensuring adequate resources is critical to preserve the effectiveness and operational independence of the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). In order to strengthen bank supervision, the MFSA should take timelier supervisory actions, increase the frequency of onsite inspections, make more use of monetary fines as part of the sanctioning regime, and ensure supervisory action is not delayed through judicial appeal.