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  • http://topics.wsj.com/person/A/biography/7454SAMUEL RUBENFELD
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Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir listens to the National anthem during the opening session of Sudan National Dialogue conference on Oct. 10.

The Financial Action Task Force, an international body that sets standards for anti-money laundering and combating terrorist financing, said Ecuador and Sudan are no longer on its blacklist.

The FATF, inandnbsp;http://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/fatfgeneral/documents/outcomes-plenary-october-2015.html#ecuador-sudana statementandnbsp;released followingandnbsp;http://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/fatfgeneral/documents/outcomes-plenary-october-2015.htmla plenary meetingandnbsp;last week, congratulated the two countries for “significant progress” made in addressing deficiencies in their anti-money laundering legal frameworks. The FATF visited each country to verify progress it citedandnbsp;http://blogs.wsj.com/riskandcompliance/2015/06/29/indonesia-dropped-from-money-laundering-blacklist/at the last plenary meetingandnbsp;in June; as a result of their removal from the blacklist, the statement said, the countries are no longer subject to monitoring by the FATF and they’llandnbsp;http://www.fatf-gafi.org/documents/documents/fatf-compliance-october-2015.html#Ecuadorwork with regional bodiesandnbsp;on their compliance.

A spokesman for the Sudanese central bankandnbsp;http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php؟article56823quoted by local mediaandnbsp;said the FATF’s decision eases money-transfers to and from Sudan. Ecuador’s attorney general washttp://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Ecuador-Removed-from-International-Money-Laundering-List-20151023-0018.htmlquoted welcoming the developmentsandnbsp;as well.

In addition, the FATFandnbsp;http://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/fatfgeneral/documents/outcomes-plenary-october-2015.html#gabacadmittedandnbsp;a central African regional body to its membership andhttp://www.fatf-gafi.org/documents/documents/fatf-compliance-october-2015.html#Laocalled outandnbsp;Laos for failing to live up to its commitment to address its anti-money laundering deficiencies. The FATF gave a list of recommendations for Laos to undertake for it to be in compliance, and it threatened a blacklisting should the country not take sufficient action by February 2016.

Countries that fail to implement FATF’s standards on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing policy run the risk of being labeled as high-risk or uncooperative jurisdictions, making itandnbsp;more costly and difficult for those nations to transact with the banking systems of FATF member states.

The FATFandnbsp;http://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/fatfgeneral/documents/outcomes-plenary-october-2015.html#supervision-enforcementprovided guidanceandnbsp;for what it deems as effective supervision and enforcement of anti-money laundering rules by regulators and supervisors of the financial sector, which the FATF noted “plays a key role” in preventing laundered money and terrorism-linked funds from flowing through the financial system.

It alsoandnbsp;http://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/fatfrecommendations/documents/fatf-action-to-tackle-de-risking.htmlissued another updateandnbsp;on its progress on the issue of “de-risking,” saying the body is monitoring developments related to it. Based on analytical work it’s seen thus far, the FATF said de-risking, which involves financial institutions backing out of business relationships with customers due to potential legal, reputational or regulatory concerns, is driven “by many different factors.”

“This is a serious concern for FATF and the FATF-style regional bodies to the extent that de-risking may drive financial transactions underground, which creates financial exclusion and reduces transparency, thereby increasing money laundering and terrorist financing risks,” the statement said.

The FATF said it aimed to complete work developing a set of guidance documents for helping financial institutions and governments manage the de-risking problem.

Write to Samuel Rubenfeld at mailto:[email protected]@wsj.com. Follow him on Twitter at @srubenfeld.