Anti money laundering in Italy - 2014 Report - draft (March, 14th 2015)

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What’s this?

“Aml in Italy – 2014 Report” is a synthetic overview of the main news and regulatory updates in the Italian anti-money laundering landscape for the 2014 year and the first quarter of 2015.
The report is published in English and Italian to facilitate its dissemination.

This is a first draft  used to discuss and share the content on line to prepare the final version which will be published on April 2015.

What's new?

Chapter 2 - The Italian system of money laundering fighting and preventing

Paragraph 2.3 Most relevant obligations

The Italian regulatory framework identifies specific categories of persons and entities to which AML obligations apply, the so-called “Addressees” (soggetti obbligati)

  • financial intermediaries and other entities operating financial assets (banks, Poste italiane, SIM, SGR, SICAV, insurance companies);
  • professionals (lawyer, notaries, …)
  • financial and accounting auditors
  • other subjects (casinos, debt collection companies, money transfer companies, societies which guard and transport cash).

For these entities the most relevant AML obligations are:

  • collaboration
  • customer due diligence
  • preservation and recording of data
  • suspicious transactions reporting (STRs)
  • training and awareness.

Collaboration

Legislative Decree 231/07 (the Italian AML law) imposes duties of cooperation for fight and prevention of money laundering; collaboration can be of two types:
1.    passive collaboration aims to ensure knowledge of customers and which requires the preservation of the documents relating to transactions;
2.    active collaboration aims to detect and report money laundering suspicious transactions.

Customer due diligence

Customer due diligence is the most important preventive action to fight money laundering; it consists in the identification of the customer and verification of the acquired data; identification and verification are also provided to the effective beneficiary - the so-called beneficial owner - when the customer represent a legal entity or performs an operation on behalf of other parties.

Preservation and recording of data

Other requirements concern the collection of information on the purpose and nature of the relationship established by the client and the continuous monitoring during the relationship itself. Another important accomplishment is the recording of reports and relevant operations in the so-called Single Financial Transactions Database (AUI - Archivio Unico Informatico) using a standardized structure to make this information available to the entire anti-money laundering system.

Suspicious transactions reporting (STRs)

A fundamental obligation regards the money laundering suspicious transactions reporting (STRs) to the FIU.
A suspicious transaction is an operation suspected of money laundering due to its characteristics, size, nature or for any other circumstance which leads one to “know, suspect or have reasonable cause to suspect” that a money laundering or terrorist financing operation is being or has been committed or attempted.
The FIU makes through investigations on reported suspicious transactions reports and could require to Financial Police (Guardia di Finanza) or to the Anti-Mafia Investigation Department (DIA) more detailed analysis.
If the analysis reveals that the suspicious was unfounded the UIF archives the case.
Even in the presence of “reasonable grounds to suspect” the “Addressees”  are obliged to report transactions to the FIU.

Training and awareness

Effective implementation and compliance with money laundering obligations require a full knowledge of the purposes and principles of the AML regulatory system.
All the staff involved in financial transactions must be made aware of the obligations and responsibilities related to AML discipline and of the consequences of non-compliance.

Education requirements of the Legislative Decree 231/07

Article 54 of the d. lgs. 231/07 imposes an obligation to train staff on anti-money laundering regulations; in particular companies and professionals must prepare “training programs designed to recognize activities potentially related to money laundering”.

Education requirements of the Bank of Italy - Regulation of March 10th 2011

The Bank of Italy requires that particular attention be paid to the development of a specialized AML training for employees and especially for employees who are in more direct contact with customers. Also specific training programs appear appropriate for staff of the anti-money laundering department.
AML department employees are also required to undergo continuous training regarding the changes of AML risks and on the typical patterns of criminal financial transactions. The staff training must be continuous and systematic and should be carried-out as part of the company general education program.