Countries/Jurisdictions of Primary Concern - Austria

Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
Report

Austria is a major regional financial center, and Austrian banking groups control significant shares of the banking markets in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. Money laundering occurs to some extent within the Austrian banking system as well as in non-bank financial institutions and businesses. Money laundered by organized crime groups derives primarily from fraud, smuggling, corruption, narcotics trafficking, and trafficking in persons. Theft, drug trafficking, and fraud are the main predicate crimes in Austria according to conviction and investigation statistics. Austria is not an offshore jurisdiction and has no free trade zones.

Casinos and gambling are legal in Austria. The laws regulating casinos include AML/CFT provisions. There are migrant workers in Austria who send money home via all available channels, including regular bank transfers and money transmitters, but also informal and illegal remittance systems. No information is available to what extent informal systems are used.

For additional information focusing on terrorist financing, please refer to the Department of State’s Country Reports on Terrorism, which can be found at: //2009-2017.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/

DO FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS ENGAGE IN CURRENCY TRANSACTIONS RELATED TO INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS TRAFFICKING THAT INCLUDE SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF US CURRENCY; CURRENCY DERIVED FROM ILLEGAL SALES IN THE U.S.; OR ILLEGAL DRUG SALES THAT OTHERWISE SIGNIFICANTLY AFFECT THE U.S.: NO

CRIMINALIZATION OF MONEY LAUNDERING:

“All serious crimes” approach or “list” approach to predicate crimes: Combination approach

Are legal persons covered: criminally: YES civilly: NO

KNOW-YOUR-CUSTOMER (KYC) RULES:

Enhanced due diligence procedures for PEPs: Foreign: YES Domestic: NO

KYC covered entities: Banks and credit institutions; domestic financial institutions authorized to conduct financial leasing, safe custody, portfolio and capital consulting, credit reporting, and mergers and acquisitions services; brokers and securities firms; money transmitters and exchanges; insurance companies and intermediaries; casinos; all goods dealers; auctioneers and real estate agents; lawyers, notaries, certified public accountants, and auditors

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS:

Number of STRs received and time frame: 1,490 in 2013

Number of CTRs received and time frame: Not applicable

STR covered entities: Banks and credit institutions; domestic financial institutions authorized to conduct financial leasing, safe custody, portfolio and capital consulting, credit reporting, and mergers and acquisitions services; brokers and securities firms; money transmitters and exchanges; insurance companies and intermediaries; casinos; all goods dealers; auctioneers and real estate agents; lawyers, notaries, certified public accountants, auditors, and customs officials

MONEY LAUNDERING CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS/CONVICTIONS:

Prosecutions: 336 in 2013

Convictions: 8 in 2013

RECORDS EXCHANGE MECHANISM:

With U.S.: MLAT: YES Other mechanism: YES

With other governments/jurisdictions: YES

Austria is a member of the FATF. Its most recent mutual evaluation can be found at: http://www.fatf-gafi.org/topics/mutualevaluations/documents/mutualevaluationofaustria.html

ENFORCEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES AND COMMENTS:

In recent years, Austria has developed comprehensive AML/CFT legislation, including the enactment of a Sanctions Act; reformed the financial intelligence unit operational procedures and supervisory framework; developed and published regulations and guidelines; and organized a series of outreach events to increase the level of awareness of AML/CFT.

Austria has an “all serious crimes” approach to the criminalization of money laundering plus a list of predicate offenses that do not fall under the domestic definition of serious crimes, but which Austria includes to comply with international legal obligations and standards.

Austrian banks have strict legal requirements regarding secrecy. Banks and other financial institutions must not divulge or exploit secrets that are revealed or made accessible to them exclusively on the basis of business relations with customers. However, the law stipulates that secrecy regulations do not apply with respect to banks’ obligation to report suspicious transactions in connection with money laundering or terrorism financing, or with respect to ongoing criminal court proceedings. Any amendment of these secrecy regulations requires a two-thirds majority approval in Parliament.

The Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) regularly updates a regulation issued January 1, 2012, which mandates banks and insurance companies apply additional special due diligence in doing business with designated countries. The FMA regulation currently includes eight jurisdictions.

The number of filed STRS has fallen by almost 30 percent in the last two years. Similarly, the numbers of prosecutions and convictions have continued to decline. In addition, the number of AML convictions in relation to the amount of prosecutions is quite low.