Monitoring compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering Act


Imposed sanctions and decision summaries


Administrative sanctions

As the Anti-Money Laundering Act (444/2017, AML Act) entered into force in July 2017, authorities were provided with uniform administrative sanction authority for monitoring compliance with the Act. Since the Act's entry into force, the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland has had the authority to impose administrative fines, public warnings and penalty payments on obliged reporting entities for violation or neglect of the obligations laid down by the Anti-Money Laundering Act. On a proposal of the Finnish Bar Association, the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland decides on  imposing administrative sanctions on attoneys as well. A prerequisite for all sanctions is that the violation or neglect by the obliged entity is caused intentionally or through negligence. Public warnings issued by the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland as well as decisions on issuing administrative fines and penalty payments are published on the Regional State Administrative Agency's website. Both administrative fines and penalty payments are paid to the state.


Administrative fine 

Administrative fines are imposed on obliged entities that violate or neglect one of the following obligations laid down by the Anti-Money Laundering Act:

· Customer due diligence, identifying the customer or retaining CDD data (Anti-Money Laundering Act, Chapter 3, Sections 1–4, 6 and 10–13) 

· Making suspicious transactionsreports (Anti-Money Laundering Act, Chapter 4, Section 1)

· Applying for entry in the money laundering supervision register (Anti-Money Laundering Act, Chapter 5, Section 3)

· Preparing procedures for reporting suspected violations of the Anti-Money Laundering Act (Anti-Money Laundering Act, Chapter 7, Section 8.1)

· A arranging employee training and protection and preparing employee guidelines (Anti-Money Laundering Act, Chapter 9, Section 1)

The size of an administrative fine is based on a comprehensive assessment which takes into account the nature, scope and duration of the breach. The minimum administrative fine payable by a legal person is EUR 5,000 and the maximum is EUR 100,000. The minimum administrative fine payable by a natural person is EUR 500 and the maximum is EUR 10,000.


Public warning

A public warning may only be issued if the matter, after comprehensive assessment, does not warrant more severe action. A public warning may be issued if the obliged entity either intentionally or through negligence violates the provisions issued under the Anti-Money Laundering Act that does not concern administrative fines or penalty payments. For example, acts and neglects that do not fulfil the conditions for administrative fine may be sanctioned by issuing a public warning. A public warning may be issued to a natural person for breaching the provisions that personally bind them.   


Penalty payment

In general, a penalty payment may be imposed for the violation or neglect of the same obligations as an administrative fine. As opposed to an administrative fine, a penalty payment may not be imposed when an obliged entity violates the obligation to apply for entry in the money laundering supervision register which is laid down in Chapter 5, Section 3 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act. Furthermore, the prerequisites for imposing a penalty payment are stricter than those concerning an administrative fine. A penalty payment may be imposed if the violation or neglect by the obliged entity is serious, recurrent or systematic. 

If the obliged entity is a natural person, a penalty payment may not be imposed on them for an act or neglect which is punishable on the grounds of another law. However, the Regional State Administrative Authority may, after comprehensive assessment, decide not to report such matter to pre-trial investigation authorities. In that case, the detrimental effect, the offender's degree of guilt and the resulting profit are taken into account.. 

If the obliged entity is a legal person, the penalty payment may, under certain conditions, be imposed on a natural person who is part of the legal entity's management. In that case, the person belonging to the management must have significantly contributed to the act or neglect which falls within their responsibilities and violates the Anti-Money Laundering Act. A penalty payment may be imposed on a member of the management in addition to or instead of a penalty payment imposed on the legal entity. 

Penalty payment may, in terms of size, be much more severe than an administrative fine. The size of the penalty payment is based on comprehensive assessment which takes account of, for example, the nature, scope and duration of the breach, the financial position of the offender, profits gained or damage caused as a result of the breach, the offender's cooperation in investigating the matter and previous breaches. The maximum sum of the penalty payment imposed on a financial services provider is 10 % of the obliged entity's previous year's revenue or five million euros depending on which one is larger. However, the sum of the penalty payment may always be twice as high as the profits gained as a result of the breach in so far as the profits can be determined. The penalty payment imposed by the Regional State Administrative Agency on other supervised entities, in turn, may not exceed either two times the benefit obtained as a result of the act or omission or one million euros, whichever is greater.

Administrative sanctions imposed by the Regional State Administrative Agency

Pursuant to the Anti-Money Laundering Act, the Regional State Administrative Agency's decisions on the administrative sanctions imposed by it must be published without delay. In addition to public warnings, the obligation to publish concerns decisions on administrative fines and penalty payments as well as other monitoring decisions such as prohibitions of measures, demands for rectification and notices of a conditional fine. Summary information concerning sanctions imposed by the Regional State Administrative Agency is collected on the Imposed sanctions and decision summaries site which also contains links to the actual decision documents. 

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