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ISLAMABAD: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has taken a wide range of measures to ensure implementation of the FATF standards in financial sectors, ie, stockbrokers, Modarabas, insurance companies, corporate sector, and non-profit organisations (NPOs).

The SECP officials told media here on Thursday at the SECP Headquarters that the SECP assessed 56 cases related to anti-money laundering (AML) regulatory regime and issued 39 show-cause notices.

Furthermore, 14 orders were issued, as a result of which Rs3.39 million were imposed as penalties.

Under the amended AML Act 2010, the SECP is the regulatory authority for any reporting entity licensed or regulated by the SECP.

Pakistan has done 'everything' to get off FATF’s grey list: law minister

Considering this role, the SECP has taken measures to ensure implementation of the FATF standards in its regulated financial sectors including stockbrokers, NBFCs, Modarabas, insurers, corporates, and the NPOs.

The aim of the SECP's efforts is to prevent these regulated sectors from being used by money launderers and terrorist financiers.

Officials said that a number of steps have also been taken by the SECP towards aligning its regulations, directives and guidelines, FAQs etc with the amended AML Act 2010.

In this regard, during FY21, the SECP amended/updated several key documents including, the SECP AML/CFT Regulations 2020; the SECP AML/CFT/PF Guidelines, 2020; Risk-Based Supervisory Framework; and Risk-Based Supervisory Manual, among others.

The Companies Act, 2017 was also amended to bridge the gaps found within the beneficial ownership regime in Pakistan.

The SECP also added relevant information to its FAQs to spread necessary information among the general public.

These regulatory reforms and enhanced efforts to spread awareness on the issue, accompanied by strategic supervisory actions aimed at improving compliance by the SECP regulatees, also showed tangible results in the way of improving Pakistan's performance ranking by the FATF's International Co-operation Review Group (ICRG) assessors, they maintained.

Pakistan to stay on FATF’s ‘grey list’

Furthermore, the SECP's success in implementation of the FATF recommendations also led to the appointment of the SECP as the lead agency for dealing with preventing legal persons and arrangements from misuse for money laundering and terrorist financing.

The FATF also re-rated Pakistan as largely compliant/compliant in 20 recommendations that were relevant to the SECP and its regulated entities.

The SECP has also implemented an automated screening solution for effective and prompt compliance with the UNSCR targeted financial sanctions by the SECP regulated entities (REs).

They said that the sectoral risk assessments have also been updated to inform and help improve REs risk assessment process resulting in effective risk management at entity level.

Additionally, the SECP has also conducted a total of 32 sessions over outreach and awareness raising sessions for the SECP regulated sectors, they added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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