Private banks will be bound by law to report any money transfer made
from Albania to fiscal paradises or countries seen as high-risk for
money laundering, such as Switzerland, Cyprus or some Latin American
The Bank of Albania has approved a new regulation which reinforces the rules against money laundering and terrorist funding.
The current law forced banks to report only the transfers coming from endangered countries. With the new agreement they will also report transfers started from Albania towards fiscal paradises, through which criminal groups or individuals with illegal revenues may try to launder their money.
But this is not the only change. Another additional request is to monitor clients. Banks currently verify a client only at the first moment, when he appears to carry out the very first banking operation with them.
If the client doesn’t appear suspicious on the first verification, then he is classified as not dangerous, and will not be inspected any further during later transactions.
But the new regulation will force banks to constantly monitor the banking operations of a client, even if the client appears clean after the first moment.
In the middle of 2015, Albania left the list of countries under watch for money laundering. But soon, a new report is expected to be released by Moneyval, a committee of experts under the competences of the European Council, which monitors the measures taken against money laundering,.
The experts of this institution will vet the entire legal structure and its implementation, a periodic procedure that is done for every country, and will come up with a new decision if Albania will remain on the list of non-risk countries, or if it will back under watch.
A few weeks ago, the US State Department published a report for the control of narcotics and money laundering for 2016, and it brought Albania back to the black list of countries endangered for money laundering, three years after it had been removed from it.