On 4 September, Royal Decree Law 11/2018 was published and entered into force, transposing various European Directives, including the 2015/849 Directive on Money Laundering, which was necessary because Spain had not adapted its legislation to these Directives and therefore ran the risk of being sanctioned.
Although this regulation only applies to the obligated subjects in this matter.
Therefore does not affect the majority of our clients, nevertheless, for us, because of the services we provide it is applicable.
As a result, we will have to require more information and control over our customers.
What are the main new developments in the field of Money Laundering?
They can be summarized as follows:
- Greater control of trusts (trust). A register on trusts and similar instruments will be created, where the real ownership will be recorded.
- The criteria of parent and dependent company established in art. 42 of the Commercial Code will be used to determine who should have the first denomination, and proceed to the identification of the real holder.
- Greater control over transactions in the gaming sector (including online games). Requiring player identification, for bets or prizes equal to or greater than €2,000. Either in a single operation or in several fractions.
- Persons with public responsibility, this category includes advisors and directors of international organizations and senior management positions of political parties with parliamentary representation. In addition, the distinction between persons with international or national public responsibility is eliminated, unifying all of them and they will be treated as high-risk clients to all.
- Conservation of documentation. The period of 10 years is maintained. However, after 5 years they may only be accessible to the OCI (Internal Control Body) or in charge of legal defence.
- Specific obligation to create a reporting channel for employees and collaborators. Different from internal reporting of suspicious transactions. In addition, the indemnity guarantees for reporting employees are reinforced.
- Finally, regulated entities (natural or legal persons). Those who provide services such as the incorporation of companies or other legal persons; the exercise of management functions or of non-director secretaries; the domiciliation of companies; a commercial, administrative and other services related to a company or any other legal instrument. All of them will be obliged to register in the Mercantile Registry. In addition, together with the annual deposit of the accounts at the Mercantile Registry, they must be accompanied by an additional document containing information relating to the services provided for these purposes.
Therefore, as we indicated at the beginning of this article, the catalogue of obligations already assumed by the obligated subjects in matters of money laundering is extended, which oblige us to a greater control and to request and transmit much more information to our clients, turning us de facto into authentic “investigators” in this matter.