Asian Development Bank Approves New Anti-Money Laundering Policy

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Tuesday, July 1, 2003
Bruce Zagaris
On April 1, 2003, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a policy to increase anti-money laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorism Financial (CTF) enforcement efforts in the Asian and Pacific region through increased assistance to its developing member countries (DMCs), improved cooperation with other organizations, and enhancing its internal system to protect its own funds from misuse. The decision to adopt this policy cements the prioritization of AML and CTF enforcement within the broad context of its work in poverty reduction, strengthening financial systems, and promoting good governance and anti-corruption. The ADB has pledged to complement rather than duplicate programs of other international organizations and groups, such as the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF), the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and FATF-style regional bodies, especially the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG). According to Motoo Noguchi, and ADB counsel who has worked on AML projects, many ADB member countries are in the process of establishing or improving their legal and regulatory frameworks necessary for effective AML and CTF enforcement based on internationally-accepted standards. Nevertheless, the international standards continue to change and hence requests for ADB Technical assistance (TA) from its DMCs continues to increase rapidly.