Qatar Comments Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP)
06 October 2008 “The IMF report on AML/CFT has helped to reinforce Qatar’s ongoing commitment to fighting money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism in order to safeguard Qatar’s growing reputation as a world class financial centre.”
His Excellency Sheikh Fahad Bin Faisal Al Thani, Deputy Governor, Chairman National Anti Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Committee has responded positively to the findings of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) review of Qatar’s anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) framework and has reiterated Qatar’s commitment to fighting money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism. The report was published today on the IMF website.
The report, adopted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Middle East & North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF), following a detailed review of Qatar’s AML/CFT framework, revealed that Qatar has made significant progress since the previous AML/CFT report adopted by FATF in June 2002. Qatar has taken a number of important steps since 2002 including issuing laws and regulations to establish the AML/CFT legal and institutional framework, becoming active members in regional and international organisations and acceding to relevant international conventions and treaties
Qatar has developed a comprehensive institutional AML/CFT framework with the establishment of the National Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Committee (NAMLC), the National Committee for Fighting Terrorism (NCT) and the Financial Information Unit, which has been an active member of the prestigious Egmont Group since 2005.
His Excellency is pleased that the report identifies that there is no evidence of significant money laundering activity in Qatar and that Qatar has one of the lowest levels of corruption in the region and rates amongst the top third of countries for governance.
His Excellency is also pleased that the report includes a separate annex containing the Qatari authorities’ positive response to the IMF recommendations, reinforcing Qatar’s commitment to the work of the IMF, FATF and MENAFATF and also highlighting a number of important initiatives that have been undertaken or are underway to enhance Qatar’s AML/CFT framework.
His Excellency noted that the report contains a number of important recommendations to improve Qatar’s AML/CFT framework and confirmed that Qatari authorities are actively implementing measures to address these recommendations in order to ensure ongoing compliance with the FATF’s Forty Recommendations and Nine Special Recommendations on Terrorist Financing.
His Excellency commented that Qatar authorities are acutely aware of the risks attendant on a rapidly growing financial sector and that safeguarding against money laundering and terrorist financing requires constant vigilance and a comprehensive national strategy. HE expressed his confidence that Qatar is equipped to ensure that these safeguards remain in place and reiterated the important role of the National Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Committee pledged to coordinate its partners within the government, the regulatory community and the financial services sector, and to closely monitor this area, to ensure that Qatar continues to develop a robust AML/CFT framework that meets international standards.
His Excellency Sheikh Fahad Bin Faisal Al Thani noted,
“Qatar is committed to implementing measures to ensure ongoing compliance with the FATF’s Forty Recommendations and Nine Special Recommendations on Terrorist Financing and to safeguarding Qatar’s growing reputation as a world-class financial centre operating in line with the highest international standards.
“We recognise the risks posed by money laundering and terrorist financing activity and we accept that tackling these complex issues will require constant vigilance and effective co-ordination. I am confident that, here in Qatar, we are positioned to unite the efforts of all interested parties to guard against these risks and to ensure the stability, transparency and security of our financial systems.
“I acknowledge the ongoing nature of this commitment and the need for the scrutiny of respected international bodies such as the IMF, FATF and MENAFATF. We are proud of our growing reputation for high standards and we are committed to ensuring our AML/CFT framework complies with all relevant international standards.
“Qatar is in a strong position to meet this commitment particularly taking into account the IMF’s findings that there is no evidence of significant money laundering activity in Qatar and that Qatar has one of the lowest levels of corruption in the region and rates amongst the top third of countries for governance.
“We acknowledge that the report identifies a number of areas for improvement and we will act swiftly and efficiently to address these matters.
“Finally, I welcome the work of IMF, the FATF and the MENAFATF and the co-operation of those in the government, regulatory communities and elsewhere who have made and continue to make such an important contribution to the work of the National Anti Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Committee.
“The work of safeguarding Qatar’s financial system in line with internationally accepted norms is important to us all and I am fully committed to maintaining our rapid progress on this front.”