RegRally Insights: Your Guide to AML/CTF Compliance, June 2024

ECOVIS ProventusLaw is inviting you to read its newest newsletter on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing. It is dedicated to everyone who wants to understand the latest trends and developments, get tips from our experts, and deepen their knowledge.

EBA Publishes Report on Virtual IBANs, Highlights Regulatory Issues and Recommendations

The European Banking Authority (EBA) has released a report on ‘virtual IBANs’ (vIBANs), noting varied issuance practices and differing regulatory interpretations. The report identifies issues related to money laundering, consumer protection, and regulatory arbitrage, offering recommendations for clarity. The lack of a standard definition and divergent interpretations among national authorities undermine the EU Single Market, highlighting the need for regulatory consistency and effective supervision. Read more.

Bank of Lithuania Issues New Guidelines on Managing ML/TF Risks in Financial Services

The Bank of Lithuania, aligning with European Banking Authority Guidelines, has introduced new requirements for financial market participants (FMPs) to manage money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF) risks. Key measures include differentiated risk assessment for clients, comprehensive customer due diligence, and well-documented decisions to end business relationships. The guidelines emphasise adjusting monitoring intensity based on customer risk profiles and ensuring non-discriminatory access to financial services. These requirements balance effective ML/TF risk management with fair customer access to financial services. Read more.

Vilnius Hosts Conference on Combatting Illicit Finance

At the “Beyond the Surface of Illicit Finance: an Allied Response” conference in Vilnius, organised by the Centre of Excellence for the Prevention of Money Laundering and the Bank of Lithuania, experts addressed sanctions evasion, terrorist financing, and global illicit financial threats. Discussions covered emerging patterns in these areas and emphasised the importance of regional and global collaboration between the public and private sectors to prevent financial crimes more effectively. Read more.

Austrian Cryptocurrency Scammers Arrested in Multi-National Operation

Law enforcement agencies from Austria, Cyprus, and Czechia, with support from Europol and Eurojust, have arrested six Austrians involved in an online cryptocurrency scam. The investigation revealed the scammers created a fake cryptocurrency in December 2017, seizing over EUR 500,000 in cryptocurrencies, EUR 250,000 in cash, and freezing multiple bank accounts. The scam, which ran until February 2018, defrauded investors through a fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO), ultimately shutting down social media and the company’s website, exposing the scheme. Read more.

Lithuania’s Financial Crimes Investigation Service Receives Record Number of STRs in 2023

In 2023, Lithuania’s Financial Crimes Investigation Service (FICIS) reported receiving over 98,500 suspicious transaction reports (STRs), with fines totaling more than EUR 895,000 imposed for AML/CFT breaches. Payment institutions submitted the most STRs, while virtual currency operators saw a significant increase. Notably, certain sectors like lawyers and real estate agents did not submit any STRs. Additionally, the FCIS conducted 32 inspections, identifying numerous compliance deficiencies and issuing fines ranging from EUR 2,700 to EUR 237,000. Read more.

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