In 2020, the Malta Financial Industry has seen an increase in monetary fines issued by the FIAU on Subject Persons, partly due to the lack of reporting of suspicious activity or transactions. Most often the case, Subject Persons failed to raise an internal investigation to understand whether an STR should have been submitted to the FIAU.
Prior to the revision of the FIAU Implementing Procedures that occurred on 15th September 2020, Subject Persons had a 5 day working period within which to submit an STR with the FIAU.
Currently, the revised Implementing Procedures require the MLRO to make any disclosures to the FIAU promptly, meaning that an STR should be submitted on the same day when knowledge or suspicion of ML/FT is considered to exist by the MLRO. This notwithstanding, there is a recognition by the FIAU that “in certain more complex cases the compilation and submission of the STR within the same day when the knowledge or suspicion of ML/FT would prove challenging in view of the extensive volume and/or complexity of information / documentation that may need to be provided. In such instances the MLRO shall ensure that the STR is submitted within the shortest time possible.” In such a scenario, the STR need not therefore be submitted within the same day. However, one needs to clearly construe “within the shortest time possible” in the context of the obligation to report promptly and without undue delay. It is therefore highly advisable that the MLRO records the process undertaken by him/her from the time of receipt of the internal report leading up to the filing of the STR in order to substantiate the timing of the relative submission.
New Reporting System
The STR submission system was revamped and wholly replaced with the implementation of the goAML software solution, developed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Subject Persons need to use the new goAML platform in order to submit any suspicious activity or transaction reporting. Starting from June 2020, Subject Persons had to differentiate between the type of reports submitted, in line with the FIAU’s new classification:-
- STR – Suspicious transaction report;
- SAR – Suspicious activity report;
- TFR – Terrorism financing report;
- PEPR – Politically exposed person report.
Each reporting category is handled differently by the FIAU and therefore the correct choice is paramount for the effective supervision of reports on money laundering and terrorist financing.
Aspida can undertake reviews of the internal policies and procedures on the process to file internal and external STRs and provide training to Boards and MLROs on how to comply with the AML requirements.
Should you have any questions on the above, please contact Aspida Advisory Services (Malta) Ltd on the following email address firstname.lastname@example.org