Tuesday, November 05, 2002

what is FATF?

The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering was established in 1989 and are currently committed to operate until at least 2004. It is a multinational group that has set out to create standards and regulations designed to meet its goals. Thus far they have published their malignant manifesto... "The Forty Recommendations". This is going to cost more than I can imagine. And the disruptive impact upon regular business will be immeasurable. They have broadened the scope of their proposed regulations to include not only banks, but many other entirely unrelated businesses:

Annex to Recommendation 9: List of Financial Activities undertaken by business or professions which are not financial institutions:
  • Acceptance of deposits and other repayable funds from the public. [including attorneys]

  • Lending.

  • Financial leasing.

  • Money transmission services.

  • Issuing and managing means of payment (e.g. credit and debit cards, cheques, traveller's cheques and bankers' drafts...)

  • Financial guarantees and commitments.

  • Trading for account of customers (spot, forward, swaps, futures, options...) in:

    • money market instruments (cheques, bills, CDs, etc.) ;

    • foreign exchange;

    • exchange, interest rate and index instruments;

    • transferable securities;

    • commodity futures trading.

  • Participation in securities issues and the provision of financial services related to such issues.

  • Individual and collective portfolio management.

  • Safekeeping and administration of cash or liquid securities on behalf of clients.

  • Life insurance and other investment related insurance.

  • Money changing.
And guess who will pay for this...with every credit card transaction, every bank deposit, every insurance policy, every registered agent firm, and every attorney relationship?

What about the attorney-client privilege? Do you want your attorney to be required to report how much you pay her and for what service ? Where will this data go and how will it be used?

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