Administrative Measures

Identified breaches of AML/CFT obligations can lead to the CMC imposing various administrative measures on the subject person involved. In certain instances, the CMC may also opt to apply two or more measures simultaneously. When deciding on the administrative measure(s) to impose, the CMC considers various factors including the extent to which a breach is considered to be serious, systemic and repetitive.

The CMC decides on the most appropriate administrative measure to impose, ensuring that these are proportionate, effective and dissuasive. Proportionate refers to a range of enforceable measures which can be applied according to the severity of the breach, with the aim of ensuring that the measure is commensurate to the severity and impact of the breach. Effective means that the measure applied is sufficient and adequate to the extent that it promotes compliance by the subject person against whom it is imposed and deters the subject person from performing the same breach in the future. Dissuasive refers to the extent to which an administrative measure can deter non-compliance by other subject persons.

Administrative measures that can be imposed include:


Administrative penalty

A pecuniary fine may be applied as a consequence of the subject person’s contravention of AML/CFT obligations. It is imperative to note that when an administrative penalty exceeding €5,000 is imposed, subject persons have a 20-day deadline from the date of notification of the administrative penalty to file an appeal with the Court of Appeal (Inferior Jurisdiction) in accordance with Article 13A of the PMLA. Furthermore, in terms of Article 13C of the PMLA and the FIAU’s policies and procedures on the ‘Publication of AML/CFT Penalties’, administrative penalties exceeding €50,000 are subject to publication within five working days from the date of notification of the administrative penalty to the subject person.


Remediation or follow-up directive

The imposition of a remediation or follow-up directive binds the subject person to develop and implement a corrective action plan within a specified timeframe to remediate the AML/CFT breaches identified through a supervisory review conducted by the FIAU or through the subject person’s own assessment. Such a measure will usually result in a follow-up examination or a supervisory meeting held by the Enforcement Team to assess the effectiveness of the corrective action plan in remediating the AML/CFT shortcomings identified.


Notification or recommendation to other supervisory authorities or bodies

In cases where the subject person found to be in breach of its AML/CFT obligations falls within the remit of other regulatory authorities responsible for its authorisation, licensing, registration or regulation, the CMC may request that any breaches identified and the corresponding administrative measures taken are communicated to other authorities. Additionally, the CMC may recommend that these authorities take any necessary actions, in line with their legal framework, to address the deficiencies identified.


Termination of particular business relationships

The FIAU has the power to request subject persons to terminate a business relationship if it is determined that the continuation of such a relationship poses an extreme level of ML/FT risk that cannot be mitigated in any other manner.


Written reprimand

A written reprimand may be imposed for minor contraventions of AML/CFT obligations and is intended to communicate to the subject person that, although a breach is not particularly concerning, it is nonetheless not acceptable and should not be repeated. Written reprimands are taken into consideration by the FIAU when assessing any future cases of non-compliance.


Other measures

The AML/CFT findings presented to the CMC, together with the specific circumstances relevant to the case, may lead the CMC to impose other measures. These may include, but are not limited to, a directive requiring the subject person to carry out an internal audit and submit a copy of the audit report to the FIAU, or a directive to keep the FIAU informed, within strict timeframes, regarding any actions or activities being undertaken by the subject person.


Publication of Administrative Measures

Act III of 2015 provided for the publication of administrative penalties imposed by the FIAU. Over the years the relevant provisions within the Prevention of Money Laundering Act governing publication have undergone numerous amendments, with publication being subject to different thresholds and conditions over the years. As of 7 February 2020, the FIAU is to publish any administrative penalty and/or measure it imposes, including any appeal therefrom, independently of the amount involved.

In line with the FIAU’s Publication Policies and Procedures, any notice published on the FIAU’s website is removed following the lapse of five years from its date of publication. Where an appeal was filed, the five years are considered to start running from the date on which the Appeal Decision Notice is published. Due to the said time limit and the differing publication requirements that may have been applicable at the time, the notices on the website do not necessarily represent all the administrative penalties and/or administrative measures taken by the FIAU over the years.

Publication of AML/CFT Penalties – Policies and Procedures

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