Iceland Faces Possible Grey Listing for Inadequate Money Laundering Policies Skip to content

Iceland Faces Possible Grey Listing for Inadequate Money Laundering Policies

By Gunnar Jónsson


The Financial Action Task Force (on Money Laundering), or FAFT, is holding its annual meeting this week in Paris. There, representatives from 205 nations have convened to discuss nations who haven’t taken adequate measures to prevent money laundering and/or financing of terrorist groups. Reportedly, the United States and the United Kingdom are fighting to put Iceland on a grey list for its lacklustre legislature concerning money laundering, Vísir reports.

FAFT is currently debating the fate of countries like Iran, Pakistan and Iceland, all of which are considered to have posed a threat to the stability of financial markets in one way or another. If Iceland ends up being grey listed it will join countries such as Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq and Uganda. Further down, on FAFT’s black list, are countries like North-Korea.

Iceland reportedly has full support from the EU, who are keen to keep any EFTA country off the dreaded grey list. The US and UK, however are reportedly fighting hard to make Iceland accountable for its sluggishness in monetary reform. Insiders say that since Iceland is a small country, making an example of it would be a powerful, yet inexpensive, way for FAFT to make its message heard.

Insiders also point out that the situation is a serious indictment of Icelandic governance, which has indeed been slow to respond to FAFT’s demands for monetary reform. If Iceland ends up on the grey list, it could damage the country’s reputation, which in turn might make it harder for Icelandic companies and individuals to do business abroad.

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