The legal basis under national and European law
Since 01.01.2017 Austria’s entire financial market has a common legal act – the Financial Markets Anti-Money Laundering Act (FM-GwG; Finanzmarkt-Geldwäschegesetz) – in which international and European rules for the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing are transposed into national law. In addition provisions relating to beneficial ownership are now also set out in the Beneficial Owners Register Act (WiEReG; Wirtschaftliche Eigentümer Registergesetz). The basis for these legal acts are in particular the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (Directive (EU) 2015/849) in the version of the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (Directive (EU) 2018/843; consolidated version) and the Regulation on Information accompanying the Transfer of Funds (Regulation (EU) 2015/847; consolidated version).
The FMA has also issued the following Regulations in relation to the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing:
- Regulation on Savings Associations (SpVV)
- School Savings Schemes Due Diligence Regulation (Schulspar-SoV)
- Online Identification Regulation (Online-IDV)
- Regulation on Due Diligence for Fiduciary Accounts (AndKo-SoV)
- Corporate Provision Funds Risk Analysis and Due Diligence Regulation (BVK-RiSoV)
- Life Insurance Due Diligence Regulation (LV-SoV)
In addition the FMA has also published four circulars that are intended to serve as guidance for the obliged entities, and which reflect the FMA’s legal position in this field:
- FMA Circular on risk assessment for the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing
- FMA Circular on due diligence obligations for the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing
- FMA Circular on internal organisation for the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing
- FMA Circular on reporting obligations for the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing
The 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive entered into force on 09.07.2018 and was transposed into Austrian law by the amendments published in Federal Law Gazette I No. 62/2019. Two significant new developments are the extending of the scope of the addressees to include providers in relation to virtual currencies as well as more detailed rules about the application of enhanced customer due diligence in the case of high-risk third countries.