Spanish new Act about prevention against money-laundering and the financing of terrorism

Spanish new Act about prevention against money-laundering and the financing of terrorism

dineroOn 29 April 2010 the new Act about prevention against laundering of capital and the financing of terrorism (the “Act”) which repeals and replaces the regulation currently in force in the field of such Prevention. The law has a dual objective:

–          To strengthen the functioning of the Spanish financial system and other economic operators in these areas.

–           To Incorporate the Spanish legislation in its entirety the contents of E.U. Directive 2005/60/EC on the prevention of the use of the financial system for money laundering and the financing of terrorism and subsequent E.U. legislation developed by this directive.

Among the major novelties the new law brings in respect of the current rules in force is the unification of the regulation concerning preventive aspects both about money laundering and the financing of terrorism. In addition, unlike the current regulations, any criminal offence –and not just some- is now to be considered as underlying offence to money-laundering.

On the other hand, the number of citizens and entities legally forced to adopt preventive measures is enlarged. Among these it is to be highlighted the inclusion of persons who trade professionally and receive funds in cash or means of payment made up to the bearer, amounting to more than 15,000 euros.

As required by the E.U.  legislation, the Act enunciates measures to be taken by the obligors in relation to non-resident persons having political responsibility (Political Exposed Persons (PEP). It also reinforces the special examination regarding Spanish public officers. In addition a more detailed description is given in respect of both the contents of the obligations regarding client identification and the internal control measures to be taken by the obligors.

About the term of preservation of documents relating to the identification and operations, the new legislation extends it to 10 years and establishes the obligation to keep identification documents in electronic, magnetic or optical media to ensure its integrity. It also refers to a future regulatory development to be approved regarding obligors which are exempted from this obligation.

The new legislation also considers the creation of the Money-Laundering Prevention Commission and Monetary Violations as a body responsible for coordinating policy both in relation to money laundering and the financing of terrorism prevention and creates the File of Financial Titles (Fichero de Titularidades Financieras) imposing the banks and financial entities the obligation to declare the opening and cancellation of current accounts, savings accounts, accounts of values and term deposits and the holders of the same, for inclusion in this file.

Finally, in relation to the penalties regime, the Act notably conveys the regulation about the minor infringements and the equalisation of the period of prescription for serious offences to the one provided for very serious offences (5 years).

(revised google translation from VLEX)

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