Press release 16 April 2019

Financial Supervisory Authority strengthens anti-money laundering supervision – European supervision will also be enhanced

The Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA) will intensify risk-based anti-money laundering supervision, increase its preparedness to make inspections, and lower the threshold for issuing sanctions. At the same time, the FIN-FSA will increase its supervision resources. The measures are in response to recommendations that the global Financial Action Task Force (FATF) against money laundering and terrorist financing has published today in its country report. Due to the international nature of the phenomenon, the FIN-FSA also underlines the need to strengthen common European supervision.

The FATF mutual evaluation report published today recommends that Finland intensify risk-based anti- money laundering supervision and lower the threshold for issuing sanctions, which will require a significant increase in personnel resources.

It is the FIN-FSA’s role to supervise that financial market operators adhere to applicable provisions and regulations on preventing and investigating money laundering and terrorist financing.

“The FIN-FSA will respond seriously to the recommendations given in the mutual evaluation report and is committed to implementing them. Working in the financial sector requires trust, which in turn requires that operators have zero tolerance for the criminal exploitation of the financial sector. The supervisor must have sufficient resources and efficient operating models to supervise that operators are complying with regulation,” says Anneli Tuominen, Director General of the FIN-FSA.

This year, FIN-FSA will introduce a new risk-based supervision model. Anti-money laundering supervision has been centralised in its own division, and during his year the unit’s personnel resources will be increased to more than 10 people, i.e. doubled compared with the situation a year ago.

Money laundering criminals systematically seek to find weaknesses in different countries’ banking systems to facilitate money laundering. In recent years, this phenomenon has been revealed to be more extensive than expected. In recent cases of money laundering, normal foreign trade has been exploited and the origin of funds concealed by complex corporate transactions. Mutual evaluations conducted by the FATF also reveal that there are differences between countries in regulating and supervising money laundering.

“The European Union has a clear need to establish a common anti-money laundering supervisor. This would ensure high quality of supervision, uniform supervisory practices and seamless flow of information between EU countries,” says Tuominen.

Anti-money laundering supervision is a national responsibility in Europe. Although cooperation between supervisors takes place, cooperation on a voluntary basis is insufficient. To enhance anti-money laundering supervision, it is planned to increase the powers of the European Banking Authority (EBA) as well as exchange of information and cooperation between national anti-money laundering supervisors and the European Central Bank.

For further information, please contact

Samu Kurri, Head of Department. Requests for interviews are coordinated by FIN-FSA Communications, tel. +358 9 183 5030, weekdays 9.00–16.00.

See also