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Former FATF President commends Germany for launching a "ambitious" new FinCrime project

Dr. Marcus Pleyer, the former president of the Financial Action Task Force, has applauded Germany for the start of a "excellent ambitious national project" aimed at enhancing the nation's efforts to combat financial crime.

Dr. Pleyer wrote a comment on LinkedIn after German Funding Minister Christian Lindner revealed intentions to establish a new, higher FinCrime federal body, explaining that the nation was set to "reform its system" for battling illicit finance.

The new government institution, which would consist of three distinct pillars, would pool "essential core competencies" for combating financial crime, according to the former FATF President, who resigned earlier this year.

The newly established Federal Police Office for Financial Crime will conduct investigations into "major complex and international cases of financial crime... in a focused and targeted way." He continued by saying that it will be in charge of executing sanctions and that its goal is to "bundle and expand the specialist expertise needed to combat financial crime."

The Federal Police Office will also incorporate the German FIU into the system as a "important partner." The FIU will "continue to function as an independent unit for analysing intelligence in line with European and international standards," Dr. Pleyer emphasized.

The goal, he continued, is to further boost the FIU's effectiveness through more focused management and a risk-based strategy.

A central coordination office, which will provide "consistent supervision" of Germany's non-financial sector, will serve as the third pillar,  whose objective is to "ensure more stringent and coordinated supervision of the diverse non-financial sector" while reducing the number of supervisory authorities.

This will be accomplished by giving all supervisory authorities instructions and standards, which will lead to "consistent risk-based supervision to replace the currently fragmented structure of supervision."

In order for Germany to "speak for the non-financial sector with one voice," he stated that the central office will serve as a "contact partner" for the upcoming EU AML Authority (AMLA0).

Dr. Pleyer continued that Germany plans to gather specialists to develop strategies for training the "best financial investigators" and would advance digitalization and registration linkage to support the nation's AFC efforts.

He emphasized that a digital link between all pertinent registries would be essential in order to "efficiently verify ownership and beneficial owners" during investigations or while implementing fines.

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