James Sassoon to act as president of financial action task force


The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, today announced that he has appointed James Sassoon to act as President of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for a 12-month period beginning July 2007.

The UK will hold the Presidency from July 2007 - June 2008.

The FATF was established by the G7 in 1989 and today includes as members 31 countries and territories and two regional organisations. It is the global standard setting organisation for anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, said: "Financial measures provide a critical bulwark against crime and terrorism. In an increasingly global world, we must ensure that the financial challenge to crime is global. There must be no hiding places for those who profit from organised crime or fund terrorist activities. The Financial Action Task Force is central to this aim and I am delighted that James Sassoon has agreed to act as President in pursuit of greater cooperation at the international level to identify and tackle the most serious financial threats to international security."

The Economic Secretary, Ed Balls, said: "The UK plays a leading role in the global fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. James Sassoon's financial services experience makes him ideally placed to drive forward this important agenda to combat financial crime."

  1. James Sassoon is currently the Chancellor and the Treasury's Representative for Promotion of the City, a part-time role in which he will continue. He was appointed in December 2005. In this role he champions the interests of the UK's financial and business services firms and markets internationally.
  2. From 2002 he served three years as a member of the Treasury Board and Managing Director of the Treasury's Finance and Industry Directorate. The Directorate was responsible for financial services and for industry policy, including productivity, enterprise and growth and public-private partnerships. James was the Chancellor's Deputy on and chaired the UK Standing Committee on Financial Stability, the Treasury's non-executive director on the board of Partnerships UK and representative on a number of Ministerially chaired committees, the global Financial Stability Forum and the EU Financial Services Committee.
  3. From 1985 - 2002 James was at UBS Warburg, latterly as Vice Chairman, Investment Banking with responsibility for the firm's global privatisation business. He advised Government departments on a variety of public-private sector projects as well as acting for governments in Europe, Asia and the Americas over more than ten years. He qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG.
  4. In February 2007 the Government published 'The financial challenge to crime and terrorism' that sets out its approach to using financial tools to deter crime and terrorism; detect it when it happens; and, disrupt those responsible and hold them to account for their actions. The FATF is central to the UK's international objectives within the strategy.
  5. The Financial Action Task Force is an inter-governmental body whose purpose is the development and promotion of national and international policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. It was established by the G-7 Summit that was held in Paris in 1989. The G-7 Heads of State or Government and President of the European Commission convened the Task Force from the G-7 member States, the European Commission, and eight other countries. During 1991 and 1992, the FATF expanded its membership from the original 16 to 28 members. In 2000 the FATF expanded to 31 members and in 2003 it expanded to its current 33 members.
  6. The Task Force was given the responsibility of examining money laundering techniques and trends, reviewing the action which had already been taken at a national or international level, and setting out the measures that still needed to be taken to combat money laundering. In 2001, the development of standards in the fight against terrorist financing was added to the mission of the FATF.
  7. The FATF's 40 Recommendations on fighting money laundering and 9 Special Recommendations on combating the financing of terrorism represent the global standard against which all anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regimes are now judged.

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