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Germany's finance minister announces a new FinCrime Authority

Germany will establish a new FinCrime Authority, according to the finance minister; the announcement comes after the Wirecard and BaFin scandals and just days before a crucial FATF report.

Germany will establish a new federal FinCrime Authority, according to Finance Minister Christian Lindner.


Linder desires a "paradigm shift" in the nation's anti-financial crime (AFC) initiatives.


Lindner announced today (Tuesday) intentions to establish a new federal FinCrime authority that will consolidate the present AML and AFC initiatives.



“We must consistently follow the trail of money instead of settling for the detection of a crime related to money laundering,” he told Der Spiegel.


It follows years of financial crime controversy in Germany, including the infamous collapse of Wirecard due to enormous fraud and several oversights by BaFin. The announcement also precedes an anticipated FATF report that will be critical of Germany's AFC efforts.


Today, Lindner detailed plans to consolidate the responsibilities of the country's federal tax police, the existing Central Office for Financial Transaction Investigations (FIU), and a coordinating central agency responsible for the oversight of the non-financial sector.


According to Mr. Lindner, under his suggestions, the federal tax police office would consist of a "independent search area" and federal officers would be granted "true investigative powers." They would also be charged with executing sanctions.


The FIU section would also be responsible for sifting suspicious activity complaints for examination by investigators, while the central coordinating body of DNFBPs would supervise the real estate and casino industries.


According to a concept paper from the Federal Ministry of Finance, the current FIU will continue to operate in its current form and at its current locations in Cologne and Dresden. The concept paper stated, "The FIU will continue as an independent analysis unit in conformity with European and international norms."


The Finance Minister's ideas originate from a forthcoming FATF report that is expected to identify "severe deficiencies" in cooperation between federal and state governments in the United States.


Mr Lindner added: “So far, we are only good at catching the small fish, the big ones escape us too often. Germany needs to get better at this.”


His concerns follow Germany's recent turbulent history with FinCrime, with the Wirecard crisis earning international headlines.


The investigative writer who broke the Wirecard scam article for the Financial Times, Dan McCrum, stated, "Germany was different... It was the educated, well-adjusted manufacturing hub of Europe. Its coalition politics, which appeared convoluted to outsiders, reflected a formidable institutional weight."


He continued, "If overseas investors had given German institutions any consideration, they would have likely ranked them among the greatest in the world. There were numerous Teutonic stereotypes, but unskilled thieves were not one of them.

By fLEXI tEAM


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