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Information sharing between the private and public sector is key according to FATF President

Dr Marcus Pleyer, the President of the Financial Action Task Force, has emphasized the importance of information sharing and the role of public-private partnerships in combating financial crime.

Dr Pleyer, speaking today at a hearing of the European Parliament's ECON and LIBE committees on the EU's AML Action Plan, emphasized the importance of the private sector, supervisors, FIUs, and law enforcement in combating FinCrime, saying that "information sharing is absolutely key."

"We need information sharing between public and private entities, but also between the private entities," Dr. Pleyer said, adding that "otherwise, criminals and terrorists will exploit information gaps due to these actors' limited visibility."

"“If data could be shared, we would see much more of the puzzle, and get the whole picture of [illicit] activity, and this could be a gamechanger in the fight against FinCrime," he continued.

Recognizing the difficulties of data protection, Dr. Pleyer stated that such restrictions "lead to a lot of uncertainty in the private sector," as they are "torn between effective AML on one side and privacy and data protection on the other, and for reasons of caution they better not share their information."

Dr. Pleyer argued that the EU has a "great chance to reconcile these two public goods" in AML and data protection by "creating more legal certainty and using the whole range of the GDPR to promote more data sharing."

Dr Pleyer advised that the EU's list of high-risk countries with "strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT regime" should "work in complementary" rather than "in parallel" with the FATF's own grey list, so as not to "harm FATF's authority."

I think the legislative is going in the right direction by introducing two lists – which is what the FATF has – but I think autonomous listing is creating problems, and should only be used in exceptional cases," Dr. Pleyer said.

"We must work to make this planet safer and better. FATF strives for a harmonised legalised framework… for that reason I very warmly welcome the objectives of the EU AML Package to further harmonise the EU rules ," he added. 

Dr. Pleyer told MEPs that only 1% of illicit proceeds are seized around the world, adding, "If we cannot get hold of the dirty money, then we cannot take away the motive for further crime and we cannot protect our societies from corruption."

He emphasized the importance of taking a risk-based approach to fighting FinCrime in order to "keep and remain social peace in our societies."

"We only have limited resources, and for this reason we need to invest the resources into where we see high risk and where we see low risks, we need to invest less resources," Dr. Pleyer explained.



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