Industry News

New recommendations will create an environment that is hostile to money laundering and terrorist financing

By James Langton |

Insurance industry lobby groups say they support proposed revisions to anti-money laundering and terrorist financing standards that were released earlier this week.

In a letter, the members of the International Network of Insurance Associations, including the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association and the Insurance Bureau of Canada, welcome the Financial Action Task Force's new, revised recommendations. They say the new recommendations "will create an environment that is hostile to money laundering and terrorist financing, thus making it more difficult and less profitable for criminals around the globe to launder proceeds of crime and finance terrorist activities."

The associations note that they are particularly pleased with the specific FATF recommendation to apply a risk-based approach to ensure that measures to prevent or mitigate money laundering and terrorist financing are commensurate with the risks identified. "This fundamental and essential approach will provide insurers with the flexibility needed to address new challenges presented by emerging money laundering and terrorist financing activities and trends," their letter says.

"Although insurance is a relatively low-risk industry compared to other sectors of the financial services industry, insurers remain committed to taking effective action in allocating their resources to any identified situations presenting a higher risk," it adds.

Additionally, the letter suggests that maintaining comprehensive global statistics on investigations, prosecutions and convictions of money laundering and terrorist financing, as recommended by the FATF, will "undoubtedly strengthen the effectiveness and efficiency of the regime. Indeed, this valuable information will allow insurers and their intermediaries to better understand the risks they face and to adjust their internal controls accordingly."