Poland – Money laundering in the Ministry of Finance opinion

The Ministry of Finance, implementing the obligations under the anti-money laundering and terrorist financing act, has published the long-awaited National Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Assessment.

It is the first such document in the Polish legal system that sheds new light on the risk of money laundering and it is an important clue for many business entities.

“The obligated institutions, according to the said Act, include a number of entities (institutions, organizations, companies) as well as individual entrepreneurs, among others, domestic banks, financial institutions or entities conducting business activity in the field of virtual currency exchange and gambling games, which clearly indicates a very wide scope of application of the Act in the course of trade ”
– says Julia Ziemska, a lawyer from the Zięba & Partners law firm.

Pursuant to the act, these institutions identify and assess the risks related to money laundering and terrorism financing referring to their activities, and on the basis of the risk identified in this way undertake a number of activities proportional to the nature and size of the operating entity and the scope of individually recognized risk in a given unit.

Money laundering Although the obligated institutions have already prepared the first identification, the National Risk Assessment Publication has not only the chance to dispel many interpretation doubts, but also indicates the need to update previously made internal assessments by all obligated institutions. Particular attention to the refinement of their procedures should be returned to those entities which, according to the General Inspector of Financial Information, are exposed to a higher risk of money laundering and terrorist financing.

In the National Risk Assessment a four-level scale was adopted regarding the assessment of the threat level and susceptibility to the occurrence of this phenomenon, according to which the entities with the highest risk level include, among others, banks, financial institutions or casinos
– explains Julia Ziemska.

It is also worth mentioning that the Office of the Polish Financial Supervision Authority, after the publication of the National Risk Assessment, issued a communiqué which drew attention to the rank of the issued document and recommended analysis of own risk assessments and their updates, all the more so that the results of controls carried out so far in the obligated institutions pointed to irregularities in the proper implementation of statutory duties.

In accordance with the state policy, one should expect further sealing of the current system, as well as the potential imposition of additional obligations on obligated institutions, the implementation of which will avoid imposing severe penalties, including fines.

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