Enforcement of the Anti-Money Laundering Act 

Regional State Administrative Agencies enforce the Anti-Money Laundering Act in Finland. The agency responsible for the enforcement across Finland is the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland. 

The Anti-Money Laundering Act sets forth the obligations and measures the companies, organisations and other traders subject to monitoring must observe in their operations. These measures are in place to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing and to make it easier to detect such activities.

Information about money laundering and enforcement of the Anti-Money Laundering Act

Money laundering refers to measures aimed at concealing or covering the origin of assets acquired through crime and to make the assets appear to have come from a legitimate source. Money and assets generated by a criminal activity can be acquired through any crime. In other words, a stolen vehicle and monetary gains obtained through tax evasion can both be considered money laundering crimes. 

The goal of money launderers is to re-introduce funds from illegitimate sources into the legitimate financial system. Due to this, companies and private traders are often used as a tool for money laundering. Entrepreneurs in different industries play a key role in the detection and prevention of money laundering.

Companies and traders operating in certain industries are subject to the requirements of the Anti-Money Laundering Act. These operators have the obligation to report suspicious transactions.

By providing guidance and advice, we aim to ensure that those obliged to report suspicious transactions observe the act in all of their operations.  

Companies and traders with reporting obligation must 

  • prepare a risk assessment for their own operations 
  • identify their customers 
  • monitor the operations of their customers 
  • report any suspicious transactions to the National Bureau of Investigation’s Financial Intelligence Unit 
  • ensure that the obligations under the Anti-Money Laundering Act are known and that employees can observe the act in their everyday operations. 

In addition to enforcement activities, we also provide information and issue instructions for industries subject to anti-money laundering enforcement. We also provide guidance on matters related to money laundering and terrorist financing.

General and industry-specific instructions for the prevention of money laundering are available in the Instructions menu. 

Enforcement methods include inspecting the facilities of businesses subject to enforcement and conducting document audits. In addition to the right to inspect commercial premises, Regional State Administrative agencies also have extensive rights to information about the operations of the supervised party. We are also authorised to impose sanctions for failure to comply with the law. We also conduct proactive enforcement in certain sectors and evaluate the reliability of company executives when the company is added to the money laundering supervision register.

We supervise businesses and other traders who may detect money laundering and terrorist financing offences as part of their normal operation or who might be used for these purposes. Businesses and traders covered by the enforcement regulations play a key role in the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing as they are the best channel through which authorities can obtain information about suspicious business activities.  

The sectors subject to monitoring are:

  • Businesses and professions that provide legal services (excluding attorneys-at-law) in transactions related to certain economic activities or assets

  • Companies providing financial services that are not subject to the supervision of the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority

  • Currency exchange services

  • Providers of ancillary investment services 

  • Pawnshops referred to in the Pawnshops Act

  • Real estate agencies and housing rental agencies referred to in the Act on Real Estate Agencies and Housing Rental Agencies

  • Holders of licences for the collection of debts referred to in the Act on Debt Collection Licences

  • Company service providers

  • Tax advisors

  • Businesses or professions performing external accounting functions

  • Goods dealers 

  • Parties selling art

Providers of legal services (excluding attorneys-at-law) are subject to our supervision to the extent in which they act on behalf of or for the client in any financial or real estate transaction. Providers of legal services are also subject to our supervision when they participate in the planning or carrying out of the following transactions for their client:

  • buying and selling properties or business units, for example, by drawing up a bill of sale
  • the management of the customer’s cash and cash equivalents, securities or other assets
  • opening or managing bank, savings or book-entry accounts
  • organising funds for the creation, operation or management of companies
  • founding or managing foundations, companies or similar organisations.

Parties selling art

  • Parties selling art, to the extent that a total of at least EUR 10,000 is paid or received in a single or linked transaction
  • Goods dealers
  • Selling or brokerage of goods, to the extent that a total of at least EUR 10,000 in cash is paid or received in a single or linked transaction                                                                 

Company service providers

The provision of company services refers to the commercial provision of the following services to third parties

  • Founding a company on behalf of someone else.
  • Acting as a responsible person under company law, a partner or a legal person in another similar role.
  • Provision of registered office addresses and other similar services.
  • Acting as a trustee of an express trust or a similar legal arrangement in Finland.
  • Acting as a nominee entered into a shareholder register of a limited company other than a publicly listed company.

Tax advisors

  • Provision of tax advice or tax support as the primary business or profession (more than 50% of the company’s operations).