A considerable degree of complexity is involved in organizing a portfolio investment survey to ensure good quality data. Therefore, compilers should carefully consider all possibilities before deciding on the collection system. This chapter guides compilers on this process as follows:
Since the mid-1980s, the need for a modern anti-money-laundering strategy has become widely accepted internationally. The negotiations of the 1988 United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances can be seen as the starting point of this trend. Depriving criminal elements of the proceeds of their crimes has increasingly been seen as an important tool to combat drug trafficking and, more recently, all serious crimes. Progress in this area is becoming a critical element in fighting organized crime, corruption, and the financing of terrorism, and maintaining the integrity of financial markets.
Over the past decade and beyond, the need for a modern anti-money-laundering strategy has become widely accepted internationally. Depriving criminal elements of the proceeds of their crimes has increasingly been seen as an important tool to combat drug trafficking and, more recently, as a critical element in fighting organized crime, corruption, and the financing of terrorism, and maintaining the integrity of financial markets. The first few financial intelligence units (FIUs) were established in the early 1990s in response to the need for countries to have a central agency to receive, analyze, and disseminate financial information to combat money laundering. Over the ensuing period, the number of FIUs has continued to increase, reaching 84 in 2003. This handbook responds to the need for information on FIUs. It provides references to the appropriate Financial ActionTask Force (FATF) standards wherever appropriate.
In their simplest form, FIUs are agencies that receive reports of suspicious transactions from financial institutions and other persons and entities, analyze them, and disseminate the resulting intelligence to local law-enforcement agencies and foreign FIUs to combat money laundering (see Figure 1).
Although they vary in many ways, FIUs share a common definition, which refers to their basic function: serving as a national center for the collection, analysis, and dissemination of information regarding money laundering and the financing of terrorism. These three functions are the core functions shared by all FIUs recognized by the Egmont Group. The definition of FIUs based on their core functions was first formalized by the Egmont Group in 1996.39 Similar definitions, also based on the three core functions, have now been incorporated in the revised FATF Recommendations of June 200340 and in two global conventions.41
While the manner in which the national survey is to be conducted is left to the national compiler, the concepts and principles underlying the national survey are to be applied in conformity with the fifth edition of the International Monetary Fund’s Balance of Payments Manual. To assist compilers in meeting this task, the Task Force identified the following areas where practical guidance is required:
Although all Egmont Group member FIUs have the three core functions of receiving suspicious transaction and other reports, analyzing them, and disseminating the resulting financial intelligence, some FIUs are also entrusted with other functions. Five of these other functions are discussed below: monitoring compliance with AML/CFT requirements, blocking transactions, training of reporting-entity staff on reporting and other AML/CFT obligations, conducting research, and enhancing public awareness of AML/CFT issues.
Once an FIU is established and has been functioning for a while, it becomes necessary to assess its effectiveness as well as that of the country’s entire AML/CFT system. Such assessments should be conducted periodically to ensure that the FIU and the system as a whole are continuously striving to improve their effectiveness, This is consistent with good public sector management policy and is now also an FATF standard.173