Combating money laundering and terrorism
The prevention and exposure of money laundering and terrorist financing are a part of corporate responsibility. The provisions of the Money laundering act (Rahanpesulaki, 444/2017) apply to entrepreneurs operating in certain lines of business, including attorneys-at-law. Chapter 1, section 2, paragraph 12 of the Money laundering act specifies the assignments in which attorneys are required to comply with the provisions of the Money laundering act. The provisions of the Money laundering act are not applied to attorneys-at-law performing the duties of an attorney or legal counsel (see the scope exemption provision of chapter 1, section 3, subsection 3 of the Money laundering act).
Risk-based operations are based on the attorney-at-law’s assessment of the money laundering and terrorist financing risks entailed by his or her assignments and client relationships. The written risk assessment must also take geographic risks and technological advances into account, particularly with the proliferation of electronic services.
Based on their risk assessments, attorneys are required to draw up appropriate guidelines and practical procedures for identifying and knowing their clients. Attorneys-at-law are required to ensure that the personnel of the law office is aware of the procedures and guidelines followed at the office, and that compliance is monitored. In addition to the obligation to know their clients, attorneys-at-law are required to determine the basis for out-of-the-ordinary transactions and report any suspicious transactions to the Financial Intelligence Unit of the National Bureau of Investigation.
The Finnish Bar Association instructs attorneys on their obligations related to the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing and supervises compliance with the provisions of the Money laundering act. Attorneys-at-law must be able to demonstrate to the Bar Association that they have appropriate risk-based procedures in place for knowing their customers and managing the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing.