According to the FATF, France needs to improve AML measures in real estate
AML measures in the real estate sector must be improved, and more specialized investigators in complex financial crime cases must be deployed.
A FATF country assessment for France was released today with these findings.
Surprisingly, the report found that the European political powerhouse needs to improve non-financial sector supervision, particularly in real estate.
While authorities prioritize high-end money laundering cases, a lack of specialized investigators has been discovered to affect the length of investigations, particularly in complex cases.
Evaluators found that France's anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing system is effective in many areas, particularly in terms of law enforcement and confiscation.
They do say, however, that the French government needs to "improve supervision of non-financial sector businesses, particularly the real estate sector."
"France has a robust and sophisticated anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing framework," according to the report.
"Authorities prioritise high-end money laundering cases but a lack of specialised investigators impacts the duration of investigations, especially in complex cases," the report says.
Criminal assets are confiscated as a priority, and France "has deprived criminals of considerable amounts of dirty money and other assets, such as property. France is to continue its efforts to repatriate criminal assets confiscated abroad ."
France has increased its efforts to effectively supervise the financial sector, according to the report.
However, risk-based supervision is insufficient in much of the non-financial sector, particularly for real estate agents and notaries who work in the real estate industry.
According to the report, France has actively combated terrorist financing since the 2015 terrorist attacks.
Prosecution, investigative and intelligence authorities collaborate effectively and exchange information. Terrorism investigations systematically look at the financing involved," the report concludes.
Meanwhile, Eleonore Peyrat, France's Head of Financial Crime and International Sanctions, praised the report's overall findings.
"I am very proud of the work accomplished and the excellent results obtained on this evaluation by the entire interministerial France team and my Treasury teams," she said.
"It is the recognition of all the efforts made every day on this strategic policy to fight against financial crime," she explained.
By fLEXI tEAM