CSSF approach with respect to AML/CTF

Within the framework of its statutory mission, the CSSF is in charge of ensuring that all the persons subject to its supervision, authorisation or registration comply with the professional AML/CTF obligations.

The CSSF ensures that professionals implement a risk-based approach in order to allocate the appropriate means and resources to the customers and products which represent higher risks.

Moreover, the CSSF ensures that persons maintaining relationships with organised crime, including, inter alia, those committing money laundering or terrorist financing offences, cannot take control, in any form whatsoever, over persons subject to its supervision.

Professionals are required to fully cooperate with the CSSF as well as the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) with respect to AML/CTF. The CSSF, in turn, cooperates closely with the FIU. These two authorities are authorised to exchange information necessary to perform their respective duties. Moreover, the CSSF can also exchange information with other AML/CTF competent authorities, on a national or on an international level.

The AML/CTF supervision (off-site and on-site supervision) by the CSSF is organised pursuant to the principles of a risk-based approach that takes into account the money laundering and terrorist financing risks to which the supervised entities and the sectors at large are exposed to.

Powers of the CSSF in the exercise of its duties with respect to AML/CTF

The CSSF has all the supervisory and investigatory powers provided for in the Law of 12 November 2004 on the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing (“AML/CTF Law”) and in various sectorial laws for the purpose of carrying out its duties. For instance, the CSSF is entitled to have access to any document it deems necessary and to obtain a copy thereof. It may also request information from any person subject to its supervision, notably by summoning this person or by carrying out on-site inspections.

Where a person subject to the AML/CTF supervision of the CSSF does not comply with the provisions relating to AML/CTF, the CSSF has a power of injunction against this person. If after expiry of the time limit set by the CSSF, the supervised person has not fixed the situation, the CSSF may follow up with an administrative sanction against this person.

Moreover, the CSSF has broad sanctioning powers. It may issue warnings, reprimands, administrative fines or occupational prohibitions against persons subject to its AML/CTF supervision. These sanctions will, generally, be made public by the CSSF.

Such administrative or prudential sanctions are without prejudice to the imposition of criminal sanctions (imprisonment and/or a fine) by criminal courts against professionals which deliberately violated the legal provisions which apply to them in this regard.

Financial sector professionals' obligations with respect to AML/CTF

Financial sector professionals shall, in any event, comply with the professional obligations arising from AML/CTF texts, and more specifically customer due diligence obligations, adequate internal management requirements and cooperation requirements with the authorities.

Furthermore, and where applicable, they must comply with the obligations arising from Regulation (EU) 2015/847 of 20 May 2015 on information accompanying transfers of funds and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1781/2006, applicable as from 26 June 2017. In particular, financial sector professionals must respond, without delay, to any request for information from the competent AML/CTF authorities and relating to information accompanying transfers of funds.

Please refer to our FAQs on AML/CFT and to the respective applicable texts for further information on this topic.

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