Home Banking issues Fight against money laundering French banks are fully committed to combating the financing of terrorism  
 
 
 

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08 august 2017

French banks are fully committed to combating the financing of terrorism

The banking profession welcomed the action plan announced by the European Commission on 2 February 2016

 

A European action plan


It includes several positions upheld by French banks:

  • the application of the same anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing rules to all stakeholders, including virtual currency transfer platforms within the scope of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive,
  • the creation of national bank account registers (such as FICOBA(1)),
  • better resources and cooperation between financial education units.

The FBF expressed its desire for a total prohibition on anonymity for prepaid cards, and not, as provided for by the European Commission, stronger regulations that require that the identity of the holder be verified only once a certain amount is exceeded.


This measure is still being studied at the European level.

Regulations are changing in order to adapt to new terrorist practices.

The French public authorities have signaled an urgent need to limit cash transactions by reducing payment ceilings. They also regulate the use of prepaid cards by requiring issuers of such cards to obtain information on activating and loading the card and to retain such information for five years. The FICOBA bank account register has also been expanded to include payment accounts. This reversal of information flows enhances the central role played by the banking system in this fight.


(1) This register lists all bank accounts opened in France, as well as similar accounts (savings accounts, securities accounts, etc.). It includes the following information: the bank where the account is held, the identity of the holder(s), and the main characteristics of the account (account number, type, etc.).

New TRACFIN reporting procedure: “call for vigilance”


The law passed in 2016 strengthening existing provisions against organised crime, terrorism and their financing introduced a provision that allows Tracfin to notify entities governed by this law (banking institutions, notaries, casinos) of individuals or legal entities that pose a high risk of money laundering or terrorist financing.


Under this framework, entities governed by this law must implement monitoring measures that may then result in suspicious activity reports. This reversal of information flows enhances the central role played by the banking system in this fight.

The 4th European Directive


This directive was enacted into French law by the order of 1 December 2016 and includes several new provisions, including the monitoring of "politically exposed persons". This had already been established for foreign citizens and will be expanded to French nationals.

Certain public figures and their entourage will also be subject to much closer monitoring. The industry is waiting for a clear definition of the kind of people affected by this regulation so that it can implement these provisions.

 
 
 
 
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