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Basel AML Index 2019 Updated

The Basel Institute on Governance updated its AML Index in August.  The Index measures the risk of ML/TF in countries using data from publicly available sources such as the FATF, Transparency International, the World Bank and the World Economic Forum. The Index (Public Edition) covers 125 countries focusing on the qualify of AML/CTF frameworks, bribery & corruption, financial and public transparency and accountability, and legal & political risks.

Overall the results indicate:

  • There has been some progress, but it remains slow – most countries show a slight improvement in their risk scores in 2019
  • The improvements are minor – between 2018 – 2019 only 27% of countries improved their scores by more than 0.1 point
  • Some Countries are still going backwards – most notably China, Colombia, Latvia and Finland showed the highest deterioration in risk scores
  • Most Countries are at significant ML risk – 60% of countries assessed have a score of 5.0 or above and can be classified as having a significant risk of ML/TF

For the first time, this years Index includes a special Regional focus on post Soviet countries as a result of the significant number of ML scandals related to “Russian money”.  The report identifies the opacity of beneficial ownership remains a key issue across all countries which requires a coordinated response at the international level and highlights that even those low -risk countries (Finland, New Zealand and Estonia) are not immune to money laundering risks or harm resulting from financial crimes.

If the Basel Index is used as part of your jurisdictional risk assessment (JRA) you should review the latest scores and rankings and update your risk assessment accordingly. A link to the full report can be found here:  https://www.baselgovernance.org/basel-aml-index

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