At the beginning of the eighties the international community became aware of the risk and danger of money laundering not only for the stability of financial markets but also for the entire democratic society.
The international scope of money laundering transactions quickly showed that a purely national approach was inadequate and that global standards were needed.
It soon became clear that this type of crime not only needed to be punished but also prevented.
The events of 11 September 2001 thoroughly changed the methods used to tackle financial crime.
Various international organisations, including the FATF, decided to broaden the battle against money laundering and to also tackle terrorist financing, including combating financing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Several international conventions to combat money laundering and terrorist financing were ratified. The FATF, which was created in 1989, developed international standards (40 FATF recommendations) to uniformize AML/CFT systems around the world. At European level a range of directives were adopted to transpose these recommendations.