Finland updates risk assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing
Unofficial international money remittances involve a very high risk of money laundering and terrorist financing. In addition, public authorities responsible for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism and other key actors consider the risk to be high for virtual currency providers, banks and payment service providers.
The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of the Interior have partially updated the Nation Risk Assessment of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing that they published in 2021.
Shortcomings remain in the exchange of information between public authorities, with the private sector and between obliged entities. This is a significant risk in a variety of sectors.
Virtual currency providers have the highest number of individual money laundering risks. The industry is continually developing, and it is particularly important that public authorities stay up to date with current trends.
Public authorities have improved their ability to identify terrorist financing in many ways, but they should continue to specialise in the investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences. The risk management of obliged entities also needs improvement.
Impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine analysed
The impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on money laundering and terrorist financing is one of the phenomena that the ministries analyse in the risk assessment. Various methods of circumventing sanctions emerged as a key risk.
Corruption and the use of remote services are the other phenomena analysed in the risk assessment. Cybercrime is considered the largest risk in remote services. The challenge of identifying corruption, particularly in political decision-making, is one of the risks relating to corruption highlighted in the assessment.
Updated action plan
The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of the Interior have also updated the risk assessment’s action plan for this and next year.
The strategic priorities of the action plan are to:
- raise general awareness of money laundering and terrorist financing;
- enhance information exchange and statistical compilation and further develop national legislation;
- implement measures to mitigate the most significant individual risks highlighted in the assessment;
- further develop digitalisation in supervising the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing and in risk management.
Unregistered hawala operators have been included in the action plan for the first time. There is a very high risk of money laundering and terrorist financing associated with these unofficial international money remitters.
Government adopts resolution
The Government adopted a resolution on the partial update of the risk assessment and action plan on 8 February. Together, the risk assessment and the action plan describe Finland’s national understanding of the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing and of the methods to manage those risks.
Mia Pietarinen, Coordinator, Ministry of Finance, mia.pietarinen(at)gov.fi, tel. +358 295 530 529
Monna Airiainen, Senior Specialist, Ministry of the Interior, monna.airiainen(at)gov.fi, tel. +358 295 488 360