The Plenary meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), held in Paris, 17-19 February 2016, has announced that Israel will join the organization as an observer starting June 2016.
FATF, an inter-governmental body which was established by the G7 group of countries in 1989. The FATF is a policy-making body, whose objectives include setting global rules to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT), and supporting the implementation of these standards.
There are currently 36 members of the FATF; 34 jurisdictions and 2 regional organizations (the Gulf Cooperation Council and the European Commission). These 36 Members are at the core of global efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. There are also 31 international and regional organizations which are Associate Members or Observers of the FATF and participate in its work.
Joining the organization will allow Israel to participate in shaping global policy and position it as one of the leading countries in the international fight against money laundering and terror financing.
The announcement will also support the Israeli economy by providing the country an unofficial stamp of approval for its financial sector – which will improve ties between Israel and other countries involved in the financial and legal battle.
The announcement of Israel joining as an observer followed a visit by an FATF delegation in November of last year. The high-powered delegation was led by FATF president Je-Yoon Shin from South Korea, executive secretary David Lewis from the UK, and senior representatives from a number of the organization's member countries, including the UK, Spain, and Italy.