High-Level Discussion on De-risking: Side Event at G20 Summit

November 29th, Austral University, Buenos Aires, Argentina: Members of the Global NPO Coalition on FATF, led by an ICNL/ECNL/HSC initiative, convened government officials and international experts to discuss regulatory restrictions and financial implications affecting the NPO sector – so called ‘de-risking’ – and actions the G20 should take to address the issues.

Present were representatives from the Argentinian government and Central Bank, a representative from the German Treasury, a member of the French consular staff in Buenos Aires, members of GAFILAT, Japanese C20 delegates, civil society network representatives from Argentina and last, but not least, the Executive Secretary of the FATF, David Lewis (who gave the keynote address).

Discussed were the regulatory restrictions and financial implications of this facing the NPO sector. One of the solutions highlighted, and one that was received with great interest by the participants, was the ongoing multi-stakeholder dialogue processes taking place in the US (the World Bank–ACAMS process), the Netherlands and the UK, with NPOs, banks, governments and regulators coming together to better understand each other’s standpoints and try and hammer out possible solutions.

David Lewis, FATF, was very complementary about the role of the Global NPO Coalition in working constructively with the FATF to amend the discourse on NPOs, and emphasize the risk-based approach.

The FATF Report to the G20 Leaders’ Summit (see paras 32, 33, 35) highlights concern at loss of access to banking services for NPOs, and calls for a ‘co-ordinated approach among international organisations, technical assistance providers, policy makers, standard setters, supervisors and private sector’ to address de-risking.

Going forward, engagement with the governments mentioned will continue. The German representative at the meeting has already shared the outcomes of the meeting with relevant government officials in Germany and is looking at ways on how to support this further going forward. The Japanese C20 delegation is enthused by this topic (especially given the Japanese NPO sector’s interest in humanitarian aid flows) and is looking to translate this into an official side event at the next G20 Summit.