Money laundering in Germany: is oversight failing? – Economy

In Germany, there are 324 financial institutions that do not have any anti-money laundering supervision. This is what emerges from the response of the Federal Ministry of Finance to a small request from the Bundestag faction Die Linke and its deputy Fabio De Masi, which the SZ received. Neither the Bafin financial supervisory authority nor any other German authority carries out such checks.

Bafin can exempt banks from regular supervision if they do not carry out conventional credit transactions. However, according to experts, Bafin is legally obliged to carry out checks on the quality of money laundering prevention everywhere at least. “The financial supervisory authority itself is clearly in violation of the money laundering law and the EU anti-money laundering directive,” said Fabio De Masi, deputy group leader of Die Linke.

The 324 exempt financial institutions are specialized institutions and fully-fledged subsidiaries of banks. “These include many suppliers of accounting systems for the retail trade and the liberal professions,” explains Michael Findeisen, an expert in the citizens’ movement Finanzwende. “These areas are very susceptible to money laundering and fraud. But because these institutes have often been exempt from the solvency law for decades, the Bafin has no overview of what they are doing. font. “

In this context, the former Secretary of State for Finance evokes the fraud scandal of the AvP billing center, a computer center which reimburses affiliated pharmacies for advances on prescription drugs, but which is now insolvent for fraud. “Looking away, Bafin will once again create a gateway for money laundering in the financial sector”, explains Findeisen. A de facto exemption of regulatory institutes and a waiver of money laundering supervision in accordance with EU directives is not possible. The exemption of the 324 institutes “could be dangerous for Germany in view of the FATF review,” De Masi believes. “The gap in supervision needs to be closed immediately.”

The highest international body against money laundering, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), is currently examining the quality of the fight against money laundering in this country. Experts are counting again on a bad note; the outcome of the control was catastrophic as early as 2010. For decades, Germany has been a haven for criminal gangs who invest their illegally generated assets in real estate and businesses. The annual volume is estimated at around 100 billion euros, but German politicians do not take the problem seriously enough. The German government recently received another reprimand from the European Commission for failing to fully implement the EU Money Laundering Directive. The anti-corruption organization Transparency Deutschland attests that Germany has a “massive money laundering problem”, and the Federal Audit Office has found that the Financial Intelligence Unit, which is responsible for analyzing suspicious transaction reports of money laundering, “can not but insufficient expectations placed in him”.

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