An important goal of the international community is to prevent the use of the financial system for criminal activities. Rules and policies target money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities in particular.
Money laundering Capital from criminal activities
Money laundering is the funnelling of illegally obtained assets into legal capital markets.
The criminal act of money laundering is defined in the Austrian Penal Code (StGB) under Section 165. This includes the storage, investment, management, transformation or exploitation of assets or portions of assets which originate from a crime or offense as well as hiding the origin of those assets.
The fight against terrorism since 9/11
After the attack on the USA on 11 September 2001, the international community significantly stepped up efforts to combat the financing of terrorism. Terrorist financing is defined by section 278d of the Penal Code as the deliberate provision of funds with the intention that the money be used for terrorist acts. Unlike money laundering, terrorism can be funded from legitimate sources.
Due diligence and obligation to report under the Financial Markets AML Act
To prevent money laundering and financing of terrorist activities, the Financial Markets AML Act (Austrian Banking Act) defines special obligations for credit and financial institutions regarding due diligence and reporting. Bank business may only be transacted with customers who have been identified - the “know your customer” principle.
Before a credit or financial institution begins a business relation, it must verify the identity of the customer under the Austrian Banking Act. Detailed provisions regarding the customer identification are listed in Sections 5 and forward.
The Financial Markets AML Act
Find the entire text of the Financial Markets AML Act (Austrian Banking Act) at the Legal Information System of the Republic of Austria:
The OeKB Guidelines
To prevent money laundering and financing of terrorism and to identify possibly sensitive areas, the activities of the OeKB Group were screened down to the smallest detail.
- Detailed procedures regarding these transactions are laid down in OeKB's relevant specific internal rules. The legal regulations are constantly being monitored. If these should change, the internal processes are also modified correspondingly.
- Staff members of the OeKB Group whose duties include tasks relevant to money laundering undergo regular trainings.
- Even those who are not exposed to activities potentially relevant to money laundering are informed of the money laundering regulations. The internal auditing office reviews compliance with the regulations annually.
- OeKB works directly with the anti-money laundering coordination centre of the Austrian banking association in this area.
In addition, OeKB has implemented the regulations on the anti-money laundering principles of the Wolfsberg Group. These principles are a global guideline for entering into business relations and continuing them in the correspondent banking context. The English language document can be found here for download:
The Patriot Act
The USA Patriot Act from 2001 requires that US banks receive specific information from foreign banks with which they have a correspondence bank account. Financial institutions which need a Patriot Act certification from the OeKB Group can download it here in English.
Contact money laundering experts
All OeKB managers (department heads) implement the regulations for combatting money laundering both in personnel and technical terms. Implementation is regularly monitored. These managers are informed and advised by OeKB's anti-money laundering officers, that are responsible for the implementation of money laundering regulations. They can be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.