Austria – Know Your Customer (KYC) Rules

 

 

Austria is a major regional financial center, and Austrian banking groups control significant shares of the banking markets in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. Money laundering occurs within the Austrian banking system as well as in non-bank financial institutions and businesses. Money laundered by organized crime groups derives primarily from serious fraud, smuggling, corruption, narcotics trafficking, and trafficking in persons. Theft, drug trafficking and fraud are the main predicate crimes in Austria according to conviction and investigation statistics. Austria is not an offshore jurisdiction and has no free trade zones.

KNOW-YOUR-CUSTOMER (KYC) RULES:

 

Enhanced due diligence procedures for PEPs:

 

PEP is an abbreviation for Politically Exposed Person, a term that describes a person who has been entrusted with a prominent public function, or an individual who is closely related to such a person. The terms PEP, Politically Exposed Person and Senior Foreign Political Figure are often used interchangeably

    • Foreign PEP: YES
    • Domestic PEP: NO

Austria – KYC covered entities

 

The following is a list of Know Your Customer entities covered by Austrian Law:

    • Banks and credit institutions
    • Financial institutions
    • Leasing and exchange businesses
    • Safe custody services
    • Portfolio advisers
    • Brokers
    • Securities firms
    • Money transmitters
    • Insurance companies and intermediaries
    • Casinos
    • All dealers including those in high value goods
    • Auctioneers
    • Real estate agents
    • Lawyers
    • Notaries
    • Certified public accountants
    • Auditors

Austria – Suspicious Transaction Reporting (STR) Requirements:

 

Number of STRs received and time frame: 2,211 in 2010

Number of CTRs received and time frame: Not applicable

The following is a list of STR covered entities covered by Austrian Law:

    • Banks and credit institutions
    • Financial institutions
    • Leasing and exchange businesses
    • Safe custody services
    • Portfolio advisers
    • Brokers
    • Securities firms
    • Money transmitters
    • Insurance companies and intermediaries
    • Casinos
    • All dealers including those in high value goods
    • Auctioneers
    • Real estate agents
    • Lawyers
    • Notaries
    • Certified public accountants
    • Auditors
    • Customs officials

MONEY LAUNDERING CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS/CONVICTIONS:

 

Prosecutions: 582 in 2010
Convictions: Six in 2010

ENFORCEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES AND COMMENTS:

Austria has a combination of both an “all serious crimes” approach plus a list of predicate offenses which do not fall under the domestic definition of serious crimes, but which Austria includes to comply with international legal obligations and standards.

Asset freezing authority applies to all economic resources including financial funds, real estate, companies, and vehicles. On March 15, 2011, a bilateral asset sharing agreement between the United States and Austria to share assets seized from convicted criminals went into effect.

On July 7, 2011, Parliament adopted an amendment to the Stock Corporation Act, which went into effect August 1, 2011 and sharply restricts the issuance and use of bearer shares. The new legislation eliminates bearer shares for all companies except those listed on a recognized stock exchange.

Even absent a specific suspicion, new regulations require tax authorities to inform the FIU of all cases where private foundations do not disclose the founding deed, including all appendices and supplementary documentation, as well as beneficial owners of hidden trusteeships.