The US treasury department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has published an advisory regarding updates to the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF’s) list of jurisdictions with strategic anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) deficiencies.

The advisory includes specific updates regarding AML/CFT compliance issues related to Iran and Ethiopia, and focuses beyond FATF’s updates on North Korea by reiterating additional sanctions imposed by the US aimed at curbing trade in goods that could assist the country’s nuclear and missile programmes.

Correspondent relations

The advisory notes that FATF has reaffirmed its call for jurisdictions to terminate correspondent relationships with North Korean banks as required by relevant UN security council resolutions.

Additionally, FinCEN advises that US financial institutions are subject to a broad range of restrictions and prohibitions and should continue to consult existing FinCEN and the US treasury department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control’s guidance on engaging in financial transactions with North Korea.

US sanctions, in particular those under several North Korea sanctions regulations and executive orders, prohibit US financial institutions from engaging in most transactions involving North Korea.

Additional advice

The advisory also reminds financial institutions to be aware that the treasury department has categorised North Korea as a jurisdiction of ‘primary money laundering concern.’

The advisory recommends that US financial institutions should review the advisory and revise, if necessary, their AML/CFT programmes to comply with the new guidance.

The FinCEN advisory is available to download here.