The role of the ACPR ( Part II )
In practice, the ACPR devotes part of its annual report to the AML-CFT. The ACPR carried out 34 on-site inspections, initiated 8 disciplinary proceedings and issued 8 formal notices in 2019.
The individual audit (inspections) carried out by the ACPR consists in particular of an annual assessment of the risks to which institutions and organisations in the banking, payment services and investment services and life insurance sectors are exposed. In this sense, for each financial institution targeted by the control, the ACPR carries out an overall assessment of the risk profile of money laundering and terrorist financing.
In doing so, the ACPR begins by assessing the risk of the organization's activity as well as products, types of customers, distribution channels and geographical areas of operation.
The ACPR then assesses the system put in place by the organization. The ACPR then refers mainly to the annual questionnaire relating to the AML-CFT, but also to the reports of on-the-spot checks and interviews with the organisation. In addition, the ACPR cooperates closely with the public body Tracfin, whose information supports the assessment of the financial institution's AML-CFT risk management system. Moreover, It is also to Tracfin that the ACPR communicates the failure to report suspicious transactions.
A review of these controls was published by the ACPR in September 2019, listing the inspections conducted between 2016 and 2018. In this document, the ACPR readily acknowledges the growing efforts of financial institutions, particularly in that they have implemented the means to carry out the centralised management of AML-CFT systems.
However, the ACPR also notes that the various checks it has carried out lead to the conclusion that there are flaws in the banking and insurance groups' systems. The ACPR then relies on several elements in order to improve the situation, starting with the instigation of action plans in the groups that have been monitored. These plans aim in particular to strengthen central steering functions, internal control mechanisms and information sharing.
In addition, the ACPR belives that the evaluation of the AML-CFT arrangements of financial institutions will now be able to take into account the internal control reports on AML/CFT and the freezing of assets. This possibility is linked to a decree of 21 December 2018 on the report on the organisation of AML-CFT's internal control and asset freeze mechanisms, which requires financial institutions to submit their internal control reports to the ACPR.
It also focuses on developing cooperation between authorities in order to optimise risk supervision. This development concerns not only the cooperation of AML/CFT authorities, in particular with the institutionalisation of the European AML/CFT Supervisory Colleges, but also that of AML/CFT authorities with prudential supervisors since Directive 2018/843 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018.
In general, the ACPR shows its willingness to continue its monitoring work, in particular with regard to the consolidated management of the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing.
In addition to its supervisory activities, the ACPR participated in the drafting of the texts transposing the Fifth Directive, as well as in the work to update the European guidelines on risk factors. The ACPR also participated in the design of the National Risk Analysis (ANR) of money laundering and terrorist financing in France published on 20 September 2019 by the Advisory Council for the Fight against Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism (COLB).
In addition, the ACPR has provided documents available to financial institutions to simplify the implementation of their obligations, such as the June 2016 guidelines on the implementation of asset freezing measures drawn up jointly with the Directorate General of the Treasury.
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