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Federation of Finnish Financial Services

Yes, provided that the guidelines are treated by the competent authorities (national supervisors, in particular) as examples of good and prudent practice. To a large extent , the measures described in the guidelines are already followed by the credit and financial institutions - either on a regular or risk-sensitive basis - when carrying out their business-wide risk assessments and CDD obligations. Translating these guidelines into strict requirements would amount to introducing a rules-based approach via a back door and would put the credit and financial institutions in an untenable situation.

In addition, FFI would like to draw the ESAs attention to certain public and political expectations that immediately affect the credit and financial institutions’ capabilities to meet the challenges under the revised European AML/CFT regime.

At the same time as the requirements under the AML/CFT are getting increasingly demanding to comply with, the EU Commission and the Member States are forcefully driving their digital agendas requiring the credit and financial institutions to make their services fully accessible via electronic channels – and not only to their customers, but to independent third party service providers, as well.

Another example of such diverging expectations relates to the revised and enhanced European data protection requirements. No obligation under the AML/CFT regime should be formulated or interpreted in a way that would require an institution to violate its legal duties under the applicable data protection requirements.

Third example of the differing expectations relates to the so called refugee crisis. FFI would like to point out that reliable verification of a prospective customer’s identity is vital to the proper fulfilment of the CDD obligations under the AML, CFT and sanctions regimes, and that any relaxation of the relevant requirements (e.g., to produce a valid proof of identity) will render any subsequent monitoring requirements extremely difficult if not totally impossible to fulfil.

As regards specific comments on the guidelines, we would like to make a reference to the thorough responses by the European Banking Federation, the European Banking Industry Committee and Insurance Europe.
Yes, provided that the guidelines are treated by the competent authorities (by the national supervisors, in particular) as examples of good and prudent practice. Translating these guidelines into strict requirements would amount to no less than introducing a rules-based approach via back door and would put the credit and financial institutions in an untenable and unreasonable position.
We refer to our comments under questions a) and b). For a text that is not supposed to introduce new statutory requirements, the proposed structure by types of business is clear enough.
Federation of Finnish Financial Services