Anti-Money Laundering: Italian Competent Authorities Issue Clarification on the Duty of Restitution of Money/Securities to Customers for Whom the Due Diligence Cannot be Carried Out

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New paragraph 1-bis of article 23 of Legislative Decree 21 November 2007, no. 231 (the Italian anti-money laundering law), introduced by article 18 of Legislative Decree 19 September 2012, no. 169, provides that, in the event the addressees of anti-money laundering law are unable to comply with the customer due diligence obligation, they must return money, securities and other financial means to the customer at issue on account(s) indicated by the latter. The effectiveness of such provision was suspended until the issue of implementing measures, which were published by the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Financial Intelligence Unit on July 30 and August 6, respectively. In particular, while the Ministry’s provision lays down the procedure to be followed by intermediaries (and other AML law addressees) for the restitution of money/securities to the relevant customer, the Unit’s communication specifies the contents of the information to supply to and obtain from the customer itself, which must be kept in relation to each return transaction. In light of the foregoing, it is foreseeable that banks and financial intermediaries will in the next weeks, inter alia, be sending a communication to their clients aimed at: (i) informing them on the duty to return any financial means received in case they are unable to perform (or finalize) the AML customer due diligence; as well as (ii) requesting information from them on the account(s) where the return transaction is to be carried out. Article. Legislative Decree.