“FIU Resolution No. 6/2022, which is in line with the international standards of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), strengthens the control tools that had been dismantled by the aforementioned regulations” during the Macrista government, underlined the official dependency in a press contact.
Beyond its explicit purpose of combating money laundering maneuvers, some specialists do not rule out that the measure ultimately has another objective, such as that of hindering access to foreign currency in the local market.
“It would not be strange, in line with certain measures adopted in recent times, that it is a rule that is presented with a control objective, but that in fact becomes a tool to hinder foreign exchange operations, for example” , said to Area Diego Fraga, partner of Expansion Business Argentina.
In the justification of the measure, the FIU said that the content of the regulations established in 2017 and 2018 “increased the risks of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing as they enabled taxpayers to declare previously hidden assets, which could result in considerable volumes of money, which were previously outside the formal financial system, being deposited or transferred to entities Argentine financial institutions, thereby exposing their integrity and that of the financial system as a whole”.
In addition, it highlights that “Recommendation 10 of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) determines that when the risks of money laundering or financing of terrorism are greater, financial institutions should be required to execute intensified measures of ‘Customer Due Diligence’ in line with the identified risks. In particular, they should increase the degree and nature of monitoring of the business relationship, in order to determine whether those transactions or activities appear unusual or suspicious,” added the resolution of the FIU.
The partner of Expansion Business Argentina I think that “Although the controls to prevent money laundering are healthy, they have to be intelligent and should not translate into an overload of work in the institutions that act as watchdogs of the system, whether they are brokerage entities or banks.”
Fraga warned that “many times the immediate effect of this type of measure on requests for extra documentation is that operations are much slower”, and end up hindering, for example, “access to dollars or any negotiation that implies getting out of possession of pesos.”
“We have the precedent of the previous government of the same political sign in which a good part of the government agencies were focused more on hindering access to the foreign exchange market, than on their own functions, such as tax compliance in the case of AFIP”, argued the partner of Expansion Business Argentina.
Specifically, the FIU resolution determines the replacement of the first paragraph of article 37 of FIU Resolution No. 30/2017, while the second article replaces the first paragraph of article 35 of FIU Resolution No. 21/2018, by the following text: “The requested information and documentation must allow the preparation of a prospective transactional profile (ex ante), without prejudice to subsequent calibrations and adjustments, in accordance with the operations actually carried out.”
“Said profile will be based on the understanding of the purpose and the expected nature of the commercial relationship, the transactional information and the documentation related to the economic, patrimonial, financial and tax situation that the Client would have provided or that the Entity itself could have obtained, according to the Due Diligence processes that apply in each case”, add the new layout.
Finally, the first paragraph of article 36 of FIU Resolution No. 28/2018 was modified by the following text: “The requested information and documentation must allow the preparation of a profile for those low, medium and high risk Clients, without prejudice to subsequent calibrations and adjustments, in accordance with the operations actually carried out”.
“Said profile will be based on the understanding of the purpose and the expected nature of the business relationship, the information, and in those cases that its level of risk requires it, the documentation related to the economic, patrimonial, financial and tax situation provided by the Client or that the Obliged Entity could have obtained, according to the Due Diligence processes that correspond to apply in each case”, completed the resolution of the FIU.