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FMA clarifies and tightens up the requirements for the prevention of money laundering by entities that it supervises

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The Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) has once again tightened requirements for the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing for the entities that it supervises in its new FMA Circular, published today. In the circular, the FMA in particular clarifies its legal opinion in accordance with the Financial Markets Anti-Money Laundering Act (FM-GwG; Finanzmarkt-Geldwäschegesetz) in relation to the issues of “reporting thresholds”, “predicate offences”, “plausibility checks for anomalies”, “promptness of the submission of a suspicious activity report“ as well as the “protection of personal data of employees when making a suspicious activity report“ in light of the FMA’s experience gained from supervisory practices. In so doing, it covers all aspects about the reporting obligations under FM-GwG and the Regulation on the Transfer of Funds throughout the whole process of obligations in relation to prevention, from becoming aware of anomalies, and plausibility checks being conducts through to the submission of the specific suspicious activity report to the competent body for money laundering (in relation to investigations under criminal law). The “FMA Circular on Reporting Requirements for the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing” enters into force immediately after its publication, and replaces the “FMA Circular on Suspicious Transaction Reports in connection with money laundering, the financing of terrorist activities and violation of the disclosure requirements for trusteeships”, published in 2011.

Zero-Tolerance Policy in the Battle against Money Laundering

“We pursue a zero-tolerance approach in combating money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities. We thereby strengthen confidence in the Austrian financial market and make a valuable contribution towards safeguarding the reputation of Austria as a financial location,” remarked the FMA’s Executive Board: “Our new FMA Circular provides supervised entities with precise guidance about how to practically apply the provisions of the Financial Markets Anti-Money Laundering Act and how values should be practised. By doing so we increase the transparency of supervisory activity, act preventively and also strengthen legal clarity.”

The FMA Rundschreiben Meldepflichten zur Prävention von Geldwäscherei und Terrorismusfinanzierung” (FMA Circular on Reporting Requirements for the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) can be downloaded (currently in German only) from the FMA website at: https://www.fma.gv.at/fma/fma-rundschreiben/

Journalists may address further enquiries to:

Klaus Grubelnik (FMA Media Spokesperson):

+43 / (0)1 / 24959-6006 or

+43/ (0) 676 / 88 249 516

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