Gov’t steps up effort to thwart dirty money deals

AMLC requires non-bank institutions to report ‘covered transactions’

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The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) has stepped up its campaign against dirty money transactions by tightening the reportorial requirements that banks and other entities are required to submit.

AMLC recently passed a resolution requiring even non-bank institutions to report “covered transactions” settled through modes of payment other than cash.

“Covered transactions” are defined by law as financial activities that involve movement of funds worth over P500,000.

Previously, only banks were required to report covered transactions that involve non-cash payments. Non-bank entities were required by the AMLC to submit reports that only involved cash transactions.

The council said that by requiring even non-bank entities, such as brokerage firms, to report transactions involving non-cash payments, the inter-agency body could effectively deter money-laundering activities.

“To enable the AMLC to determine the true nature, and/or the circumstances surrounding the issuance of checks, of the debiting/crediting of accounts, all covered institutions shall henceforth submit reports on transactions involving the use of checks, fund transfers, or the debiting or crediting of accounts where the amount exceeds P500,000,” AMLC said in Resolution No. 10 A-2013.

The resolution was signed by BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr., Insurance Commissioner Emmanuel Dooc and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairperson Teresita Herbosa. The resolution was announced Wednesday through the central bank’s website.

In a separate resolution, AMLC trimmed the list of transactions that banks and other entities must report. The transactions that have been taken off the list are those where the chances of money laundering are less likely to occur.

Under Resolution No. 10 A-2013, AMLC said transactions that are no longer required to be reported include transactions between banks, transactions between a bank and the BSP, fund transfers from one account to another account of the same person, rollover of time deposits and investments, and system-generated transactions.

The BSP has already issued a circular to banks and other financial institutions informing them of the amendments to the reporting rules.

The Philippines is currently on the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Regulators in the Philippines hope that, by enhancing the rules on dirty money, the FATF may be persuaded to declare the country as fully cooperative in the international effort against money laundering and terrorist financing activities.

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