Anti-Money Laundering: New Anomaly Indicators

On 12 May 2023 the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Bank of Italy (“FIU”) issued a new Regulation (hereafter referred to as the “Regulation”) in implementation of the power conferred on it by art. 6, paragraph 4, letter e), of Legislative Decree 231/2007 (hereafter referred to as the “anti-money laundering decree”) in which are contained 34 new anomaly indicators developed to facilitate the detection of suspicious transactions.

The “Regulation” defines “suspicious transactions” as “transactions to be reported to the FIU when the recipients know, suspect or have reasonable grounds to suspect that money laundering or terrorist financing transactions are in progress or are being carried out or attempted to be carried out or that the funds, regardless of the amount, derive from criminal activity”.

The parties to whom the “Regulation” is addressed i.e. banking and financial intermediaries, other financial operators, professionals, non-financial operators, gaming service providers and persons  operating in the management of financial instruments as identified in the “anti-money laundering decree”, as well as gold traders as defined by Legislative Decree 92/2017 (the so-called “gold purchase decree”) will have to apply the “Regulation” beginning 1 January 2024. Therefore, starting from that date, anomaly indicators previously issued by the Bank of Italy, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of the Interior will no longer be applicable, nor will the representative patterns of anomalous behavior  previously issued by the FIU..

Specifically, the recent Regulation of the FIU forsees the division of these anomaly indicators into three sections:

  • Indicators from 1 to 8 and the relative sub-indexes (Section A), which highlight the behavioral profiles and the qualifying characteristics of the person to whom the operation refers;
  • Indicators from 9 to 32 and the relative sub-indexes (Section B), concerning the characteristics and configuration of operations;
  • indicators 33 and 34 and the related sub-indexes (Section C), which pertain to activities that could potentially be connected to the financing of terrorism and programs for the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

These indicators and sub-indexes are intended to be an operational tool for the concerned parties, with the purpose of evaluating the various cases that may occur, in the context of the actual activity carried out, and therefore to the end of knowing when to report or not report a transaction.

However, these criteria are not an exhaustive list or binding, as the FIU itself specifies, due to the fact that unforeseen cases could arise and may arouse suspicion.

Lastly, it should be noted that the aforementioned indicators include, among other things, references:

  • to anomalies connected with the use of crypto-assets, with the transfer or purchase of credits or with the transfer of assets in the context of insolvency proceedings, or as a guarantee of credits as well as anomalies in the use of correspondent current accounts and comparable relationships;
  • to collective financing schemes (c.d. crowdfunding) or lending between individuals (c.d. peer to peer lending).