November 2013

 

 

06/11/2013 INBLAC, the First Association of Experts in Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing established in Spain, Hosts Conference for Law Firms

On 18 October 2013, the Instituto de Expertos en Prevención de Blanqueo de Capitales y Financiación del Terrorismo (INBLAC) conducted a conference titled “Law Firms and Money Laundering”. During the conference, Francisco Bonatti, executive secretary and co-founder of the association, expressed his concerns about the unawareness of many companies and professionals of their vulnerability under the anti-money laundering legislation and reminded them that the Spanish Criminal Code observes the misdemeanour commission of the money laundering crime.

Future reforms of the anti-money laundering legislation were also announced. Some of the  proposed changes include the application of the legislation to relevant political persons in Spain, the creation of a centralised organ for preventing money laundering in the law profession and the elimination of any exception regarding client identification and due diligence.

The Centralised Prevention Organ (OCP, Órgano Centralizado de Prevención) will be directed by the Spanish Bar Association (Consejo General de la Abogacía Española) and lawyers will report directly to this organ any suspicious operation made by their clients. The OCP will analyse the information and report it to the money laundering authority (Servicio Ejecutivo de la Comisión de Prevención del Blanqueo de Capitales e Infracciones Monetarias,SEPBLAC) when necessary. The creation of the OCP is expected once the new Spanish draft regulation comes into force.  

INBLAC was created on 17 July 2013 in Madrid, and it is the first association of experts in anti-money laundering and terrorist financing to be established in Spain.

The main aims of the association are:

  1. To raise awareness among certain sectors (such as law firms, antiquities, and luxury or jewellery industries) of their vulnerability under the law and the need to implement anti-money laundering compliance programs.
  2. To represent the voice of the sectors affected by the anti-money laundering legislation before the authorities.
  3. To promote professional certification and continuing training for external experts in order to provide companies with adequate professionals when establishing compliance programs.

Similar associations elsewhere in the world include:

  1. The International Compliance Association (ICA), headquartered in the UK with presence in over 30 jurisdictions.
  2. The Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS), based in the US with regional presence in Hong Kong, Japan, China and India.
  3. The Anti-Money Laundering Association (AMLA) based in the US.

 

Prepared by

León Manuel González Mercé
Legal Intern
Legal Projects Team
International Bar Association