A new act on Prevention and Combating of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing will enter into force, replacing the anti-money laundering act currently in force, on 26 June 2017. The new act is intended to implement the provisions of the EU Directive 2015/849 (i.e. the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive).
The regulation method of the scope will change; i.e. instead of listing the activities concerned, the new act specifies the organizations and service providers which shall apply the statutory provisions. From the perspective of the service providers falling within the scope of the new act, one of the most beneficial provisions is that they will be allowed to complete the identity verification by electronic means, contrary to the current law, under which the client identification might only be carried out personally in written form. Another innovation of the new act is the establishment of a central database for storing the data of the beneficial owners. Furthermore, a stricter sanction regime will be introduced, as the amount of the penalties will increase significantly (e.g. for financial institutions from HUF 500 million to HUF 2 billion). In order to ensure the compliance with the new provisions, companies shall revise their internal policies by 30 September 2017.
By Eszter Kamocsay-Berta, Partner, KCG Partners Law Firm