Home Banking issues Fight against money laundering Preparing the adaptation of the third Anti-Money Laundering Directive  


31 december 2008

Preparing the adaptation of the third Anti-Money Laundering Directive

The Economic Modernization Act of 4 August 2008 requires, by order, the adaptation of the third Anti-Money Laundering Directive. This must take place by 6 February 2009. This third directive will bring about major progress, particularly the birth of a risk-adjusted approach.


However, implementation is likely to be more difficult in France than in the majority of other EU countries due to the new criterion stipulated in the directive which requires the new framework for suspicious transaction reporting to be defined.

Complex implementation

In 2008, the FBF actively participated in consultations with the Ministry of the Economy on the draft order. Throughout this process, the FBF alerted Government authorities to the difficulty of structuring the European text around a number of other texts including the Criminal Code and the General Tax Code. The scope of suspicious transaction reporting, which is fundamental to preventing money laundering, has been considerably extended and, in addition to the financing of terrorism which was already covered in France, will now include all offences punishable by more than one year in prison. In France, unlike most other European countries, this will apply to all tax fraud.

In order to retain the notion of a riskadjusted approach, the order stipulates that, when dealing with tax fraud, banks must make a declaration if two conditions are met: if they suspect that tax fraud is taking place and if a tax fraud laundering indicator arises. This list of indicators will be approved by decree. The implementation of the new directive is a major, expensive project for the banks. They must also update their knowledge of all their clients within a timeframe to be set by the adaptation text, in order to fulfil their new obligations, update their written procedures, train their employees on the changes to their obligations, etc.

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