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Israel Becomes a Member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

(Dec. 14, 2018) Israel became a full member of the FATF on December 10, 2018, following the publication of the FATF’s mutual evaluation report. (Israel Becomes a Member of the FATF, FATF (Dec. 10, 2018); FATF, Anti-money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Measures, Israel: Mutual Evaluation Report (Dec. 2018).)

Congratulating Israel on its membership, FATF President Marshall Billingslea noted that

Israel has undergone a rigorous assessment of its measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. During this demanding process, the country demonstrated its commitment to protect the integrity of the financial system. Israel has established a robust anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing framework that is achieving good results in identifying and responding to the risks the country is facing.

As a member of the FATF, the country’s experience and perspective will make a valuable contribution to our work to prevent the misuse of the financial system. (Israel Becomes a Member of the FATF, supra.)

The FATF is an intergovernmental body established in 1989 by the ministers of its member jurisdictions. According to the FATF website, the objectives of FATF “are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.” (Who We Are, FATF (last visited Dec. 13, 2018).)

The FATF currently comprises 36 member countries (including Israel) and two regional organizations (the European Commission and the Gulf Co-operation Council), “representing most major financial centers in all parts of the globe.” (FATF Members and Observers, FATF (last visited Dec. 13, 2018).)

According to Israel’s Ministry of Justice, Israel’s membership in FATF will enable the state to take an active part in formulating a global policy for fighting money laundering and the financing of terrorism, as well as improve Israel’s international status, improve the ability of its financial sector to act in the international arena, contribute to strengthening the state economy and business sector, and establish Israel as an attractive location for investments. Israel’s membership will similarly improve Israel’s cooperation with other countries in the financial, intelligence, economic, and legal spheres. (Lilach Daniel, An Achievement: Israel Joins the International Organization That Leads the Fight Against Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism, TAKDIN LEGAL DATABASE (Dec. 10, 2018) (in Hebrew).)