Zimbabwe has been removed from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey list following an on-site evaluation exercise carried out in January this year, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said Saturday.
Zimbabwe was placed on the FATF grey list in 2019, following a mutual evaluation (assessment) process that identified a number of deficiencies in the country’s implementation of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CTF) Standards.
Speaking on its website, the FATF said:
The FATF welcomes Zimbabwe’s significant progress in improving its AML/CFT regime. Zimbabwe has strengthened the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime and addressed related technical deficiencies to meet the commitments in its action plan regarding the strategic deficiencies that the FATF identified in October 2019. Zimbabwe is therefore no longer subject to the FATF’s increased monitoring process.
Responding to the development, Minister Ncube said:
I am pleased to inform stakeholders and the nation at large, that following an on-site evaluation carried out in January 2022, the Financial Action Task Force has, on the 4th of March 2022, announced Zimbabwe’s removal from the list of countries that are considered to be insufficiency compliant in implementing Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism Standards.
He said the removal from the FATF’s grey list is yet another vote of confidence by the international community in Zimbabwe’s achievements under President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s leadership.
He added that adherence to strict AML/CTF standards is not just a compliance requirement, but enhances the country’s image as a safe destination for investment and strengthens the domestic financial sector. He added:
I commend the National Taskforce on AML/CTF comprising the Treasury, the Financial Intelligence Unit, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and over 80 stakeholders drawn from both the public and private sectors on the successful implementation of the FATF Action Plan, whose contributions culminated in the delisting of the country from the grey list.
He said the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing will remain an ongoing process that shall not end with the country’s exit from the grey list.
While greylist classification is not as punishing as the blacklist, countries on the list may still face economic sanctions from institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, and experience adverse effects on trade.