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New Banking Regulations in Costa Rica Make Investigating Customers a Snap

Article Summary:

Banks in Costa Rica must provide customer’s banking information directly to the Financial Intelligence Unit when requested by the office, as required by executive decree.

Photo Credit: Nacion

Original Article Text From Nacion via Google Translate :

Regulation Paves Way to Investigate Bank Customers

Effect of recent legislation allows the Costa Rican Drug Institute (ICD) have easier access to bank information for people researching their Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

This is the “general regulation on legislation against drug trafficking, related activities, money laundering, terrorist financing and organized crime”, published by Executive on 17 January in the official newspaper La Gaceta.

With the force of the decree, banks are required to send directly to the FIU the information requested, with no restrictions.

Before the transfer of information was done with the mediation of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (Sugef). Now the entity will only receive a copy of the data required by the FIU for investigation.

“The Unit had been created with the Law No. 8204, and has the legal power to request information on money laundering issues, the new has to do with the report that calls for banks to send the information directly” said Armando Rojas, legal director of Banco Popular.

In addition, earlier this month due within one quarter down the rules for all supervised institutions comply with the provisions.

Without condition. Access to information requested by the FIU may not be conditioned by the banks, nor need of the order of a judge.

“It’s a partnership. The regulation establishes a relationship in two ways: the first is the information the bank sends a regular basis, and the other is the application of business of that unit, as part of their research. The flow is very good, “said Mario Gomez, attorney for the Costa Rican Banking Association (ABC).

Currently, only three entities may have access to bank information: FIU, the Directorate General of Taxation and the Judiciary.

The latter two will have access only with the permission of a judge.

The account holders whose information was requested by the ICD unit will not be notified of the request for data on their assets.

In addition, the Regulation extends the framework of the obligations that banks already have.

Gomez explained that a new task is that the banks control the attorneys who practice their profession freely enrolled in the ICD. Another control is that banks ensure that the people they are serving, they must have legal status in the country.

“This practice is a problem as the country receives migration, in many cases, undocumented,” said Gomez.

Consulted on these regulations, the National banks of Costa Rica said they are still studying the changes included in the Regulations.

Link to Original Article:

From Nacion

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