Ghana could possibly be removed from European Unions’ list of countries with deficiencies in anti-money laundering laws after August this year.

According to an email from the EU responding to enquires by Joy Business, the “grouping” noted that there are still some processes that need to be completed before Ghana can be taken off its list, adding, “now that Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has removed Ghana from its list, there are no more requirements from the EU side.”

The EU added that it could take about two months for the process to be completed.

Joy Business understands that the FATF at exactly 10:23 am on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, at its plenary removed Ghana from the ‘Grey List’, following a unanimous decision of members.

This should have quickly led to the EU taking Ghana off its list. This is because the EU’s action was based on FATFs earlier decision to put Ghana on the list of countries with deficiencies in Anti-Money Laundering.

More details on Ghana’s delisting

It further revealed that the European Commission will as soon as possible begin the necessary administrative process to aid Ghana’s removal, saying “Ghana will be taken off the EU list and the Commission will start asap the administrative procedure to do so.”

“That should take around a month for adoption by the Commission and another month for the member states and the Parliament to give their accord,” the EU added.

This indicates that Ghana could be removed from the list after August this year. 

“So a few more weeks will be required but the assurance is that it is a purely administrative matter,” The EU said in the email copied to Joy Business.

Removal of Ghana on  Financial Action Task Force’s List  

Joy Business understands that the Financial Action Task Force FATF at exactly 10:23 am on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, at their plenary removed Ghana from the Grey List following a unanimous decision of members.

FATF later in a statement noted that it welcomed the significant progress made by Ghana in improving its AML/CFT regime.

It also added that Ghana 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 2018.

Ghana is therefore no longer subject to the FATF’s increased monitoring process. The country will continue to work with GIABA to further improve its AML/CFT regime.

Background

The European Commission in May 2020 listed Ghana and 11 other countries as having lapses in the country’s AML and CFT regimes, thus posing significant threats to the European Union’s financial system

The inclusion of Ghana in the blacklist meant that financial transactions from Ghana into the EU and vice versa received extra scrutiny to ensure that they did not escape the “deficiencies” identified to the benefit of money launderers and terrorist financiers. A similar action was taken on Ghana in 2019.

Implications for Ghana

Based on this revelation by the EU, it shows that Ghana is still on the list of countries with deficiencies in Anti-Money Laundering laws.

This mean that financial transactions between the two countries – through banks or business – will come with some scrutiny and extra checks, until Ghana is  finally removed from the list after August 2021.