Germany about to establish a new financial crime agency

Following widespread concerns of its failure to crack down on white-collar crime, Germany is to establish a new anti-money laundering authority, called the Federal Authority for Fighting Financial Crime. This agency would  concentrate on cases of international, complex and large-volume, systematically organised financial crimes that are planned from Germany or have some kind of German connection, monitoring suspicious activity on financial markets, in payment flows, in carousel or securities transactions .

German media reported that Germany’s existing anti-money-laundering agency, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), under fire over its slowness will be integrated into the Federal Authority for Fighting Financial Crime (in German BBF), which will also be responsible for enforcing international sanctions.

Money laundering has been considered to be a significant issue in Germany, where cash is typically utilised in transactions that are digital in other countries. Another challenge for being more effective is the federal structure of Germany with its 16 federal states, an increased cooperation between the different agencies that oversee and enforce the law would be needed. Experts main criticisms of Germany was its failure to successfully investigate enough “big fish” in the world of financial crimes.  The finance ministry will submit a bill on the creation of the new authority to the Bundestag in the coming months.

 

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