Will Iceland Get Off FATF’s Gray List Friday?

Vala Hafstað

FATF, the Financial Action Task Force, an intergovernmental organization, which monitors how well countries of the world combat money laundering and terrorism financing, will be holding a meeting Friday to determine whether to remove Iceland from its so-called ‘gray list.’

In October of last year, Iceland was placed on the list, for in FATF’s opinion, the country had failed to implement adequate measures with respect to this issue. On this list, there were 12 countries, including Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, Zimbabwe, Cambodia and Ghana – countries where corruption or chaos is rampant.

Justice Minister Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir tells Morgunblaðið that a group of people from FATF came to Iceland in September to assess the situation. No decision has yet been made on whether to remove Iceland from the gray list, but she hopes it will be removed from the list.

In June, a general FATF meeting confirmed that Iceland had completed its action plan in an adequate manner, but subsequently, it became clear that a special assessment of the situation would have to be done on location before the country could be taken off the list.

Áslaug Arna states that the assessment on location went very well and met the authorities’ expectations. “Subsequently, Iceland’s case was discussed by FATF earlier this month and will be addressed by the end of the week,” she states. “We certainly hope the conclusion will be that we get off the gray list.”

The fact that Iceland has been gray-listed has caused problems for Icelandic individuals and companies vis-à-vis foreign financial institutions. Such problems should be a thing of the past if FATF’s decision turns out to be in Iceland’s favor on Friday.

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