Angola removed from money-laundering blacklist

LUANDA, Feb 20 (Reuters) - An international money-laundering watchdog has removed Angola from its blacklist of nations that fail to meet international standards, the Angolan central bank said on Saturday.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which sets standards for anti-money laundering and fighting terrorist financing, added the southern African country to the list in 2010.

The central bank said the FATF’s decision came after the country implemented reforms that included licensing of banks and setting up a Financial Intelligence Unit, which collects information on suspicious or unusual financial activity.

Governor José Pedro de Morais welcomed the removal, saying it would improve the country’s credit quality and financial institutions.

The risk of financial crime and difficulty in monitoring clients forced Standard Chartered to announce last year it had ended its dollar-clearing operations with commercial banks in Angola. Bank of America also stopped selling Angolan banks the greenback from the beginning of December last year. (Writing by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)