Through a generous grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Charity & Security Network has undertaken a study to determine the scope and nature of the de-risking challenges faced by U.S.-based nonprofits working overseas. After completing stakeholder visits with key officials at U.S. government agencies, the World Bank, financial institutions and banking associations, our researchers will now begin telephone surveys of U.S.-based charities. Surveyers will seek to find out if the randomly selected charities have experienced delays or cancellations of their wire transfers overeas, or the closure of their U.S. bank accounts. All information gathered will remain completely anonymous.
Please be prepared to answer our call, as your organization may have been chosen to receive a call from our researchers.Information collected from these telephone surveys will make our data more accurate and complete, and the results will help us advocate for improved access to financial services for the charitable sector.
More information on the study and forthcoming report can be found here.
Nonprofit organizations (NPOs) are cheering the recent revision of the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) Recommendation 8 (R8), removing the term "particularly vulnerable" to describe NPOs and has long hampered their legitimate and essential work around the world.
At its Plenary in South Korea June 22-24, FATF changed R8, relating to laws on nonprofits, to acknowledge that not all NPOs are at risk of terrorist abuse and directs countries to undertake a risk-based approach when considering counter-terrorism financing measures. In addition, changes to the accompanying Interpretive Note, along with the June 2015 Best Practices Paper, will assist countries in taking a more proportional approach towards the sector. More than 180 jurisdictions worldwide are committed to the implementation of R8.
Read the press release here.
A new blog published by our colleagues at United Muslim Relief outlines the impact that bank de-risking is having on humanitarian aid delivery. In "Humanitarian Aid Threatened by Bank De-Risking," the authors explain that many banks avoid liability under federal counter-terrorism financing regulations by dropping any client doing work in areas deemed "high risk." This practice "hinders and endangers the work of disaster relief organizations and other NPOs," the article states.
Many organizations have struggled to maintain their work in conflict-ridden areas "because financial institutions have closed their accounts with little to no warning and, oftentimes, cancel transactions that are time-sensitive," the article explains. While banks undergo a risk-benefit calculation to determine whether to retain an account, the human lives at risk are not considered.
Read the full blog here.