The Regional State Administrative Agency of Southern Finland (ESAVI) will open a new register this summer, to which all who have the duty to report money laundering must provide their information. At present, auditors (PRH), banks and financial institutions (FIVA) and lawyers (Bar Association) already have their own registers. The new register will therefore mainly apply to operators supervised by ESAVI, who are mostly accountants, law firms and real estate agents. Those financial actors who are not licensed by FIVA, all tax advisers and art dealers will also be on the register. A comprehensive list of notifiers can be found on ESAVI’s website.

The binding nature of the law is not affected in any way by the register. The purpose of the register is to facilitate the targeting of the authority’s control measures and at the same time to clarify to the notifiers referred to in the Anti Money Laundering Act what obligations they have in the role of notifier.

So what changes with the registry? Answers will be revealed next fall. ESAVI has strengthened controls by significantly increasing the number of inspectors. Supervision of the implementation of the requirements of the law will be intensified. This should initially mean more detailed instructions and requests for clarification. Gradually, the requirements become stricter and for clear omissions, ESAVI imposes an administrative fine, a public warning or a penalty payment.

The Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act itself provides very little advice on practices for how notifiers must act. It is therefore up to the supervisory authorities to draw up and communicate practical guidelines. Through the register of notifiers, a direct channel is opened for ESAVI to give instructions and orders to notifiers. So now, at the latest, the best solutions for effective practices should be thought about so that administrative work does not waste resources of the actual business.

KYC & AML obligations in a nutshell:

Verify the identity of the customer representative and retain identifying information.

Find out who the actual beneficiaries of the legal entity are and whether they have political influence.

Find out about your customers’ business.

Based on the previous report, make a risk assessment that will target money laundering and terrorist financing measures in the right proportion.

Document your actions and name the people in charge.

Arrange for continuous customer monitoring and sanctions list check ups

Keep your customer knowledge information up to date and retain it for five years after the end of the customer relationship.

The Anti Money Laundering Act requires that all notifiers under the supervision of the Regional State Administrative Agency of Southern Finland who are not yet in the official register must apply for registration in this new supervisory register at the beginning of July 2019.

Jukka Kojola 5/16/2019