Money Laundering Officer

Who can become a money laundering officer?

A money laundering officer should have the necessary expertise to ensure compliance with money laundering prevention requirements. Although the legislator does not explicitly stipulate which requirements an anti-money laundering officer must fulfil, it is advisable, in view of the increasingly complex requirements, to obtain certification in the area of anti-money laundering before taking on tasks. Otherwise, proper fulfilment of due diligence obligations is very unlikely. In this context, Section 7 (4) AMLA states that the appointment of an anti-money laundering officer can be revoked at the request of the supervisory authority "if the person does not possess the necessary qualifications and reliability".

Accordingly, companies themselves should be interested in the proper qualification of their money laundering officers. Money laundering officers are not only endowed with special rights and protection against dismissal, they also protect their company from high fines through their work

When must a money laundering officer be appointed?

The Money Laundering Act lists in § 2 GwG who belongs to the circle of obligated persons. This includes financial service providers, insurance companies, lawyers, casinos, gambling providers and dealers in goods. However, the companies concerned are not necessarily obliged to appoint a money laundering officer.

§ Section 7 (1) AMLA stipulates who among the obligated parties must appoint an anti-money laundering officer and his deputy at management level:

  • Credit institutions pursuant to Section 1 (1) of the German Banking Act (Kreditwesengesetz).
  • financial services institutions pursuant to Section 1 (1 a) of the Banking Act
  • Payment institutions and electronic money institutions pursuant to section 1 (3) of the Payment Services Supervision Act
  • Financial undertakings
  • Insurance undertakings
  • Capital management companies
  • Organisers and brokers of games of chance

The law stipulates that the competent supervisory authorities may issue orders as to whether the other obligated parties within the meaning of Section 2 AMLA must appoint a money laundering officer. In the case of dealers in goods, art brokers and art warehouse keepers (Section 2 (1) no. 16 AMLA), the order is to be issued if the principal activity of the obliged party is trading in high-value goods.

What does a money laundering officer do?

The duties of a money laundering officer include among other things, the preparation of a risk analysis, the creation of uniform reporting channels, the processing of suspicious cases and suspicious activity reports. Furthermore, the money laundering officer must also undertake actual monitoring measures to ensure that the regulations are complied with, which includes employee training. These measures must be carried out in addition to internal audit checks.

In line with the range of tasks and responsibilities involved, money laundering officers must possess the qualifications required to perform their duties. Pursuant to Section 7 (4) of the Money Laundering Act, the supervisory authorities may revoke money laundering officers if they do not possess these qualifications. Training and further education to become a certified money laundering officer is offered by the Kerberos Academy in cooperation with DEKRA Certification GmbH.

Why do you need a money laundering officer?

The function of a money laundering officer is defined in Section 7 (1) AMLA: "The money laundering officer is responsible for ensuring compliance with money laundering regulations; this does not affect the responsibility of the management level. The money laundering officer is directly subordinate to the management." The money laundering officer is thus the central office for combating money laundering and terrorist financing in a company.

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