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Financial Intelligence Unit

The international standards for preventing and combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism envisage the institution in each country of a Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), charged with receiving and analyzing reports on suspicious transactions and other information related to money laundering, the associated predicate offences and the financing of terrorism, and with transmitting the results of its analyses to the competent bodies for subsequent investigation.

The FIU for Italy was established at the Bank of Italy on 1 January 2008 pursuant to Legislative Decree 231/2007, issued in implementation of Directive 2005/60/EC (the Third Anti-Money-Laundering Directive). The decree abolished the Italian Foreign Exchange Office (UIC), the entity that had previously carried out the tasks of Financial Intelligence Unit.
The FIU performs its functions autonomously and independently using financial, human and technical resources assigned by the Bank of Italy. The organization and activity of the FIU are governed by a Bank of Italy regulation.

IIn order to prevent and combat money laundering and terrorist financing, the FIU carries out financial analysis of the suspicious transactions reported by persons subject by law to reporting requirements (financial intermediary, non-financial enterprises and professionals) and examines any other fact that could be related to money laundering or terrorist financing. To this end it collects additional data from reporting parties, including by means of inspections, cooperates with foreign FIUs and, within Italy, exchanges information and cooperates with financial supervisory authorities, the judicial authorities and other competent authorities, and law enforcement bodies.

In addition the FIU:

  • analyzes and studies financial flows with a view to detecting and preventing money laundering or terrorist financing;
  • conducts analyses and studies of individual anomalies relating to possible criminal activities of this kind, specific sectors of the economy considered to be at risk, categories of payment instruments and specific local economies;
  • carries out statistical analyses of the aggregate data transmitted on a monthly basis by banks and other intermediaries, with a view to detecting possible instances of money laundering or terrorist financing within certain territorial zones;
  • collaborates with the competent authorities in the issuing of secondary legislation, develops anomaly indicators, subsequently issued by the various competent authorities, elaborates models and patterns of anomalous conduct with reference to specific lines of business or phenomena relating to possible money laundering or terrorist financing, and issues instructions on the data and information required in suspicious transaction reports;
  • carries out controls, including inspections, and initiates sanction procedures in matters within its sphere of competence;
  • participates in the work of various European and international organizations engaged in preventing and combating money laundering, terrorist financing and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (the Financial Action Task Force, the Egmont Group, the European Union's FIU Platform, the Committee for the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing).

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