The legal basis under national and European law
The provisions relating to the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing are set out in various legal acts in Austria. For financial market participants, the provisions contained in the following laws and regulations apply: Banking Act (BWG – Bankwesengesetz), Insurance Supervision Act 2016 (VAG 2016 – Versicherungsaufsichtsgesetz 2016), Payment Services Act (ZaDiG – Zahlungsdienstegesetz), Securities Supervision Act 2007 (WAG 2007 – Wertpapieraufsichtsgesetz 2007), E-Money Act (E-GeldG – E-Geldgesetz), Alternative Investment Funds Manager Act (AIFMG – Alternative Investmentfonds Manager-Gesetz) as well as the Regulation on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Risk 2016 (GTV 2016 – Geldwäscherei- und Terrorismusfinanzierungsrisiko-Verordnung 2016). These provisions are based to a large extent on the transposition of the 3rd Directive on Money Laundering (Directive 2005/60/EC) and the Directive of the European Commission (Directive 2006/70/EC). The transmission of information on the payer accompanying money transfers is set directly in Regulation (EU) 1781/2006.
On 26 June 2015 the 4th Directive on Money Laundering (Directive 2015/849) as well as the new Regulation (EU) 2015/847 on information accompanying transfers of funds (Regulation on the Transfer of Funds) entered into effect. This new anti-money laundering package by the EU includes the adoption and implementation of the 40 recommendations amended in 2012 by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The aim of the Money Laundering Directive, which is now in its 4th edition, is to prevent against the misuse of the European Union’s financial system for the purposes of money laundering and terrorist financing, and thereby to protect the integrity and stability of the financial system.
Significant innovations addressing the following points:
- The extension of the risk-based approach
- The establishment of a register of beneficial owners
- The identification of politically exposed persons (PEPs) in a country
- New exemptions for electronic money products
- Harmonised approach towards third countries
- Compulsory implementation of strategies and procedures on a group-wide basis
- The extension of the catalogue of previous offences
- The extension of penal provisions