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Banks to be obliged to increase customer surveillance

Aivar Paul, Money Laundering Prevention at LHV Pank.
Aivar Paul, Money Laundering Prevention at LHV Pank. Source: (ERR)

A bill being drawn up by the state would oblige banks operating in Estonia to increase supervision with an aim to stop money-laundering and terrorism by preserving the data of persons of national interest and their next of kin for up to five years, daily Eesti Päevaleht reports.

"For instance, previously, if a Latvian minister opened an account here, we had to know who the minister was and consider them with suspicion — now we must do that with Estonians as well," Aivar Paul, head of Money Laundering Prevention at LHV Pank, told the newspaper.

According to the bill, the persons whom this will concern are those who are performing or have performed important tasks of public authority, such as heads of state and government, ministers, MPs, political party leaders as well as members of top courts. The activities of their next of kin will likewise be supervised.

While currently banks must preserve data concerning the prevention of money laundering, the bill would oblige banks to preserve all correspndence concerning providing the service for up to five years following the conclusion of customer relations.

With this bill, Estonia will adopt an EU directive, the deadline for which is June 26. Should Estonia fail to adopt the directive, the European Commission will initiate an infringement proceeding.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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