MONEYVAL publishes follow-up report on Cyprus anti-money laundering
On 13 January 2022, the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (MONEYVAL) published its first follow-up report on the progress made by Cyprus since its prior 2019 initial report, which placed the jurisdiction under an enhanced follow-up programme. The follow-up report examines progress made in implementing new requirements relating to the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) globally renowned 40 Recommendations (FATF 40) since the prior review.
In a nutshell the follow-up report has been largely positive:
- There are no “non-compliant” ratings
- Cyprus is “compliant” with 16 of the FATF 40, and “largely compliant” with 20 of them
- There are four partially compliant ratings relating to non-profit organisations, correspondent banking, new technologies, and powers of law enforcement and investigative authorities
It was generally acknowledged that Cyprus has made progress in improving its level of compliance with the FATF 40, however, it is also noted that the Cyprus authorities took some of the measures improving the level of compliance too late to be assessed by MONEYVAL in this follow-up report.
Of particular relevance to the fintech and crypto-industry, the follow-up report assesses the implementation of new international requirements for virtual asset service providers established in a revised FATF recommendation. The authorities have taken several measures to implement these new FATF requirements, including the publication in December 2021 of an assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing risks presented by virtual assets and the related services providers. However, some of these measures were taken too late to be assessed in the follow-up report. Our blog post on the Cyprus’ national risk assessment on VA and VASPS can be found here.
Cyprus will remain within MONEYVAL’s enhanced follow-up programme and will continue to report back on further progress to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures likely within one year’s time.
The press release can be found here.
The report can be found here.