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What is Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT)?

May 07, 2024 Niamh Hunter Updated On: May 7, 2024
What is Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT)?

As geopolitical turbulence heightens, the battle against terrorism extends beyond traditional military strategies. 

One crucial front in this fight is the financial sector, where governments and regulatory bodies employ a range of measures to cut off the lifeblood of terrorist organisations - their funding. 

Central to this effort is the concept of Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT), a multifaceted approach aimed at disrupting and dismantling the financial networks that sustain terrorist activities.

Discover how your business plays a part in this fight, and why maintaining compliance is key to keeping you out of hot water…

Quick Snapshot into Combating the Financing of Terrorism

  • Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) aims to limit funds to terrorist groups by targeting various entities like banks, charities, and businesses through regulation, supervision, and reporting. 
  • Policies focus on halting fund movement and laundering, often disguised as legitimate transactions, with the FATF driving international efforts. While CFT offers benefits like terrorism prevention, it also poses societal costs including loss of privacy, mass surveillance, and potential abuse.


What is the CFT - Combatting the Financing of Terrorism

The purpose of implementing Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) measures is clear: to prevent criminals and terrorists from exploiting the financial system. 

These measures are not just about tracking down illicit funds but also about safeguarding the integrity of the financial sector and contributing to overall safety and security for businesses and customers alike.

The CFT system operates with two overarching goals:

  • Protecting Financial Sector Integrity - Ensuring that financial systems remain robust and resilient against illicit financial activities.
  • Contributing to Safety and Security - Enhancing national and international security by disrupting the financial networks of terrorist organizations.


The Key Goals and Outcomes of CFT

To achieve the main goals set out within CFT plans, there are eleven key efforts made to create effective frameworks for businesses to follow. 

These encompass various aspects such as risk assessments, regulatory adaptations, deeper financial intelligence, and international cooperation.

The 4 Core Ways CFT is Implemented

Importance of Implementation

Implementing the recommendations laid out by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is crucial. 

These recommendations serve as the foundation for building an effective framework to protect the financial system. However, simply adopting these laws and regulations is not enough as enforcement and coordination among operational, law enforcement, and legal components are equally essential.

1 - Assessment and Evaluation

During mutual evaluations, countries' efforts are scrutinised based on evidence of how well these components work together, considering the specific risks each country faces. The UK, alongside the rest of the world, has to ensure that businesses are abiding by operational requirements, law enforcement, and legal aspects to achieve tangible results.

2 - Understanding CFT

CFT encompasses government laws, regulations, and practices aimed at restricting funding and financial services for designated terrorists. 

Its key focus is on limiting funds to terrorist organisations, targeting various entities such as banks, charities, and businesses, and identifying and preventing money laundering used for terrorist activities.

3 - Initiatives and Policies

CFT policies often originate from international bodies like the FATF, guiding both international and national efforts. 

While international initiatives involve training and information sharing, national efforts predominantly revolve around anti-money laundering laws and regulations.

4 - Benefits and Costs

The primary benefit of CFT is disrupting and preventing terrorist activity. However, there are significant costs, including loss of financial privacy, potential for abuse, and moral concerns about governmental authority and coercion.

Globally, various legal requirements have been put in place by regulatory bodies across different jurisdictions.


What Does the Global Effort Look Like to Contribute to CFT?

In the UK, the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds Regulation regulates businesses through their AML requirements. Following multiple amendments, it now factors in the EU’s 5th AML Directive, turning it into national law, boosting CFT efforts and maintaining compliance. 

The EU as a whole has adopted multiple AML and CFT strategies, building comprehensive legislative packages to bolster existing efforts. This includes a recent agreement made between the EU Council and Parliament, incorporating the 6th AML/CFT directive (6AMLD). Into their overall anti-money laundering package.

Our counterparts over the Atlantic in North America are also allies in the fight against financing terrorism, with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) being implemented. This Act has made it a requirement for regulated industries such as financial institutions to support ongoing federal efforts to detect and prevent money laundering. 

In Canada, the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) enables cross-country efforts, mandating institutions to create and uphold a thorough Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance program.

Meanwhile, Australia regulated businesses with their Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act of 2006 which enforces the implementation of AML and CFT processes across businesses.


Maintain CFT and AML Compliance With Red Flag Alert

At Red Flag Alert, we are dedicated to supporting businesses in their daily work by streamlining clunky and costly onboarding processes and transforming compliance measures into a swift, easy process that keeps businesses on track with CFT requirements. 

Empowered by our unique Health and Growth Score tools and an extensive collection of business intelligence, organisations can swiftly access essential data for compliance in mere moments.

By streamlining data procedures, companies can seamlessly embrace the introduction of AMLA and other forthcoming regulations. 

What once seemed like a daunting regulatory web draining resources now transforms into a straightforward process that maintains focus on core activities when implementing Red Flag Alert.

 Get a free trial and stay ahead of the curve and join the fight against financing terrorism.

Published by Niamh Hunter May 7, 2024
Niamh Hunter

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