Luxembourg's Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) and Monaco's Service d'Information et de Contrôle sur les Circuits Financiers (SICCFIN) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism (AML / CTF).
In order to strengthen their supervisory action for the purposes of AML / CFT, the CSSF), represented by its Chief Executive Officer Claude Marx, and the SICCFIN, represented, by its Director Michel Hunault, signed a cooperation agreement on 23 July 2021.
The fight against financial crime does not stop at a country's borders; criminals often set up complex schemes at the international level to camouflage their operations. Cooperation agreements between competent national authorities are therefore deemed essential to combat this reality more effectively.
Commenting on this new agreement with Monaco, Claude Marx said: "We have a lot of interest in working together. Our financial centres are very similar. Our two countries have a strong international outlook. We also have a reputation to uphold".
Michel Hunault also highlighted the need for international cooperation: “The European Union has just decided to create a centre dedicated to the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Because there are loopholes, inadequacies and we realise that harmonisation of legislation is not everything. Cooperation between us is essential”.
This agreement is in line with other agreements concluded by the CSSF with its counterparts abroad. In practice, these bilateral or multilateral agreements above all make it possible to set up practical protocols to facilitate and improve the efficiency of the exchange of information, cooperation and mutual assistance between competent authorities. They also make it possible to ensure better coordination within the framework of cross-border surveillance, particularly with regard to Luxembourg entities active in the co-signatory country or vice versa.
Luxembourg has established and has been pursuing a strict AML / CTF policy for many years. At the international level, the majority of the rules in this area were initiated around 30 years ago, in particular under the impetus of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and have since been constantly updated in order to adapt to the emergence of new risks and challenges in the area of AML / CTF.
"Cryptocurrencies add to what we already have to watch out for", explained Claude Marx. "We have taken a first step by requiring that all players active in cryptocurrencies register with a supervisory commission so that we have an overview of their activities, even if they are not strictly speaking regulated. Cryptocurrency / fiat currency exchange platforms, for example, must request authorisation as a payment institution and thus fall under the supervision of the CSSF".