***”The Treasury Department recognizes the importance of the longstanding ties between the U.S. and Latin American financial sectors.”*** Pat O’Brien, Treasury Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing

This past week the U.S. Treasury helped launch a **U.S.-Latin America Private Sector Dialogue (US-LA PSD)** focused on strengthening defences against money laundering and terrorist financing.

A release from Treasury announced that some fifty key U.S. and Latin American private and public sector representatives held a roundtable at the Treasury where they began discussing ways to facilitate and improve private sector information and best practices sharing on the implementation of core anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) controls.

Roundtable participants agreed to commence a long term private sector dialogue on AML/CFT through a series of conferences, seminars and workshops that join U.S. and Latin America banks in a direct exchange.

*“The most important role in this process is for banks to work with the government – not only to assist to government in efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, but also to encourage the government to continue to improve its systems,”* said Gustavo Rodrigues, President of GAFISUD (Financial Action Task Force Style Regional Body for South America) and President of the Brazilian Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

The Treasury Department seeks to promote awareness and implementation of core AML/CFT standards internationally to safeguard the financial system against rogue nations, terrorist facilitators, money launderers, drug kingpins, and other international security threats. It says this is part of its overarching objective to promote prosperity and stability in the U.S. and global financial systems.

Earlier this year, a similar US-Middle East/North Africa Private Sector Dialogue on AML/CFT (US-MENA PSD) was launched.

The IMF’s Executive Board recently completed its review of a staff paper **Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism: Review of the Quality and Consistency of Assessment Reports and the Effectiveness of Coordination.** The paper was jointly prepared by its Monetary and Financial Systems and Legal Departments and the Financial Sector Vice-Presidency of the World Bank. Subsequently, the IMF has reiterated the importance of AML/CFT to strengthening the integrity of financial systems and deterring financial abuse.