The entities we supervise are obliged to know their customers’ business, detect and examine suspicious transactions, and report any such suspicions to the FIN-FSA and the Financial Intelligence Unit. This directory contains instructions for supervised entities on customer due diligence and the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing.

The prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing is based on international standards. Regulation seeks to ensure that uniform customer due diligence procedures are observed in the global financial markets. In this respect, an important role is played by the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF), an intergovernmental working group on the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, operating under the OECD. The EU’s Anti-Money Laundering Directives are based on FATF recommendations.

In Finland, the Financial Intelligence Unit operating in connection with the National Bureau of Investigation processes money-laundering reports submitted to it. Responsibility for the development of anti-money laundering legislation lies with the Ministry of the Interior. It is our task to ensure that the procedures, risk management and internal control of supervised entities comply with statutory requirements.

A supervised entity or its employee may be sentenced to punishment for failure to comply with the obligations of customer due diligence and prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing under the Act on Detecting and Preventing Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Anti-Money Laundering Act, AML Act). A supervised entity may be guilty of negligent money laundering, for example, if it assists or counsels a customer in investment activities, establishment of shell companies or transfer of funds despite having weighty reasons to be suspicious of the customer's transactions.

The regulations and guidelines were prepared in accordance with the Anti-Money Laundering Act that entered into force on 1 August 2008 and provisions issued under the Act. Please note that the regulations and guidelines have not been completely updated, as they do not take account of the amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Act that entered into force on 3 July 2017 (444/2017), or other provisions that were repealed or issued in connection with the overall reform of the Act, or the Act on amending the AML Act (406/2018) and other related acts that entered into force on 5 June 2018. We will update the regulations and guidelines in the course of 2018.

Standard 2.4

Customer due diligence – prevention of money laundering and financing of terrorism

Regulation on the prevention and detection of money laundering and terrorist financing

Amendments were made to the AML Act and related Acts on 5 June 2018.

Below is a list of links related to the topic:

The Act on Preventing Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (AML Act), Act on the Financial Intelligence Unit and certain other Acts on related topics were reformed on 3 July 2017. These measures implemented the fourth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive and the second Funds Transfer Regulation ("2FTR").

Below is a list of links related to the topic:

Application of the Funds Transfer Regulation has begun

The EU Funds Transfer Regulation (2015/847) applies as of 26 June 2017.

The new Funds Transfer Regulation obliges providers to notify the FIN-FSA of shortcomings identified by them in information accompanying funds transfers. The notifications are to be sent to the FIN-FSA by email at maksuntiedot(at)fiva.fi. Use this form in the notification (in Finnish).

The ESA guidelines contain more detailed instructions on how payment service providers should act in order to fulfil the requirements of Regulation 2015/847. The ESA guidelines are available on the ESA website.

The ESA guideline was implemented nationally by FIN-FSA regulations and guidelines 5/2018.

Commission supranational risk assessment

The first Commission supranational report on the EU internal market based on an AML/CFT risk assessment was published in July 2017.

The purpose of the report is to help EU member states to detect and analyse AML and CFT risks and to take mitigating measures. The report analyses risks within the financial sector and beyond, and examines new risk factors, such as virtual currencies and crowdfunding systems.

The report includes:

  • a comprehensive risk mapping of key areas and a list of most widespread means of money laundering used by criminals
  • recommendations to EU member states on how to address the risks identified, such as increase risk assessment or supervision of certain activities.

The Commission is committed to examine the options to enhance the operations and cross-border cooperation of Financial Intelligence Units. The Commission continues to monitor the development of money laundering and terrorist financing risks and will publish a new risk assessment at the latest in June 2019 and every other year thereafter.

Guidelines and opinions of the European Supervisory Authorities on prevention and detection of money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism

The European Supervisory Authority (ESA) consists of three separate authorities: The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA). The fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive provides on the obligation of these authorities to provide Joint Guidelines and drafts to the Commission for Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS). The ESAs have also prepared Joint Opinions related to the topic.

Joint Risk Factors Guidelines

In November 2016, the European Supervisory Authorities published Joint Guidelines on the characteristics of a risk-based approach to anti-money laundering and terrorist financing supervision, and the steps to be taken when conducting supervision on a risk-sensitive basis (the Risk-Based Supervision Guidelines).

The Joint Guidelines set out the ESAs’ view of appropriate risk-based supervisory practices within the European System of Financial Supervision regarding anti money laundering and terrorist financing. The Guidelines apply to European competent authorities supervising the financial sector in their respective home countries. The Joint Guidelines do not apply to financial institutions referred to in the fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive.

Competent authorities should apply the Joint Guidelines when designing, implementing, revising and enhancing their own AML/CFT RBS model. The authorities should comply with the Joint Guidelines by incorporating them in their supervisory practices as appropriate (comply-or-explain procedure).

Opinion on money laundering and terrorist financing risk threatening EU's financial sector

On 20 February 2017, the ESAs published a Joint Opinion on the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing affecting the Union’s financial sector. This opinion was also submitted to the Commission as part of a supranational risk assessment exercise. The fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive imposes an obligation for the supervisory authorities to issue an opinion on EU-level risks of money laundering and terrorist financing in order to support the work conducted by the Commission.

The ESA’s shall update their assessment of the risks within two years of this first opinion.

The Risk Factors Guidelines

On 26 June 2017, the ESAs published their Guidelines on risk factors and simplified and enhanced customer due diligence procedures as required by the fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive. The Guidelines provide reporting entities with tools to assess the ML/TF risks related to their operations and customer relationships as well as monitoring methods and other controls needed in risk management. Application of the guidelines began on 26 June 2018.

Report on central contact point and proposal for regulatory technical standard

In its new AML Act, Finland has used the possibility provided by the fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive to require foreign payment service providers and issuers of electronic money providing services to Finland, to appoint a central contact point (Chapter 3, section 14 of the AML Act).

The ESAs have submitted their report on the matter to the Commission to be adopted as a regulatory technical standard. The standard will establish the criteria for member states for determining the circumstances in which foreign payment service providers and issuers of electronic money may be required to appoint a central contact point. The standard also functions that may be required to be fulfilled by the central contact point in the host country in order to ensure regulatory compliance.

Report on compliance with group-level AML/CFT policy in so-called third countries

The ESAs have submitted to the Commission for approval their report on reporting entities' group-level AML/CFT policy in circumstances where they have a branch or subsidiary in a so-called third country, whose regulation prevents the implementation of group-wide policies and procedures.

"Know your customer – prevent money laundering" newsletter

The purpose of the "Know your customer –  prevent money laundering" newsletter is, among other things, to disseminate news about domestic and international regulatory initiatives related to anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) and to provide a status update regarding domestic and international authorities specialising in this field. Newsletters are in Finnish.

International financial sanctions and changes therein are communicated at the website of the Ministry of the Interior.

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Contact information

The Financial Supervisory Authority 

  • Maarit Pihkala, Senior Legal Adviser, tel. +358 9 183 5240
  • Marjaana Hassinen, Legal Adviser, tel. +358 9 831 5215
  • Anne-Mari Juutinen, Risk Expert, tel. +358 9 183 5569
  • Katri Saari, Risk Expert, tel. +358 9 183 5440

See also

Elsewhere on the Internet

Useful information on European AML/CFT initiatives on the EBA website

The website of the European Banking Authority contains topical information on European initiatives concerning anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.