Bangladesh fares well in South Asia in anti-terrorist financing index

Bangladesh has fared much better than many South Asian countries in the 2016 anti-money laundering or terrorist financing index.

The Basel Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Index is being published by the Switzerland-based Basel Institute on Governance (Basel Institute) since 2012.

It is known as the only index published by an independent not-for-profit organisation ranking countries according to their risk of money laundering and terrorist financing.

The Index is used by the private sector as an established AML country risk-rating tool for compliance purposes, and in the public sector for research and policy measurement.

The 2016 edition covers 149 countries and provides risk ratings based on the quality of a country's framework for AML and countering terrorism financing (AML/CFT) and related factors such as perceived levels of corruption, financial sector standards and public transparency.

Bangladesh with a score of 6.4 ranked 54 in the world. In South Asia, only India is in a better position than Bangladesh with a score of 5.69.

The top 10 countries of highest risk in the world are Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Cambodia, Mozambique, Uganda, Swaziland and Myanmar.

Finland is the lowest risk country, followed by Lithuania and Estonia.

The greatest improvements since 2015 have been made by Kuwait, Ecuador Seychelles and Albania.

The countries that saw their scores decline in 2016 most prominently are Vanuatu, Chile, Sri Lanka, Slovenia, China, Estonia, Serbia and Turkey.

The Index measures the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing of countries based on publicly available sources.

A total of 14 indicators dealing with AML/CFT regulations, corruption, financial standards, political disclosure and rule of law are aggregated into one overall risk score.

The institute, however, says the report should not be viewed as an "actual quantitative measurement" of money laundering and terrorist financing activity, nor should they be taken as a specific policy recommendation for countries or institutions.

"For a detailed country diagnostic, the Basel AML Index should be complemented by a more fine-grained country profile study," it said.

Source: BDnews24