The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Nadim Kyriakos-Saad, Manuel Vasquez, Chady El Khoury, and Arz El Murr
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
The money laundering (ML) and terrorist financing (TF) risks associated with conventional finance are generally well identified and understood by the relevant national authorities. There is, however, no common understanding of ML/TF risks associated with Islamic finance. Some are likely to be the same as in conventional finance, but there may also be different risks. This is notably due to: (i) the complexity of some Islamic finance products; and (ii) the nature of the relationship between the institutions and their clients. The limited capacity and experience in the supervision of Islamic finance, especially in jurisdictions that face higher ML/TF risk factors represents an additional vulnerability. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards are implemented without any form of tailoring to the specificities of Islamic finance. The FATF, the Islamic finance standard-setters, and the national regulators should seek a greater understanding of the specific ML/TF risks that may arise in Islamic finance and develop an appropriate response.