Council of Europe body: Bulgaria strengthened its preventive framework to combat money laundering, financing of terrorism

Bulgaria has improved its measures for tackling money laundering and combating financing of terrorism, Council of Europe body the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL) said in a follow-up report released on May 28.

The report found Bulgaria to have improved its compliance with 10 of the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) recommendations, namely those on national cooperation and coordination, politically exposed persons, money or value transfer services, internal controls and foreign branches and subsidiaries,  designated non-professional business and professions (DNFBPs) customer due diligence,  transparency and beneficial ownership of legal arrangements, regulation and supervision of financial institutions, powers of supervisors, on cash couriers, as well as on statistics.

Since the adoption of its mutual evaluation report in May 2022, Bulgaria has taken numerous steps to strengthen its anti-money laundering and combatting terrorist financing systems, MONEYVAL said.

It is now compliant with recommendations 14 (on money or value transfer services) and 32 (on cash couriers).

Only minor deficiencies remain for other recommendations concerning the areas described above, where Bulgaria was previously rated “partially compliant”, and now saw the rating upgraded to “largely compliant”.

Bulgaria has reported some progress also on the recommendations 13 (on correspondent banking) and 15 (on new technologies), but its rating here remained “partially compliant”.

All in all, out of the 40 applicable FATF Recommendations that the MONEYVAL looked at in this report, Bulgaria currently is rated as compliant or largely compliant with 27 recommendations; and partially compliant with 13 recommendations.

There are no recommendations on which Bulgaria is non-compliant.

Bulgaria is expected to report back to MONEYVAL within one year’s time on progress to strengthen its implementation of measures to combat money laundering and terrorism financing, the Council of Europe said.

(Archive photo: Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry)

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