New institutions: Comments and recommendations

Any institution that submits a request for authorisation to the NBB which, when granted, will subject it to the Anti-Money Laundering Law and, more specifically, to the NBB’s AML/CFTP supervision, is required to provide the NBB at least two months before the start of its commercial activities in Belgium with the following documents and information in the authorisation file:

  • information on the overall risk assessment (also called business-wide risk assessment) required by Article 16 of the Anti-Money Laundering Law, which makes it possible to identify and properly manage or, where appropriate, limit the inherent ML/FT risks to which the financial institution will be exposed in Belgium.  The expected content and form of this reporting are specified on the page “Reporting by financial institutions”;
  • the organisation put in place within the institution for AML/CFTP matters (particularly with regard to the functioning of the three lines of defence model, the hierarchical lines or the reporting lines);
  • the AML/CFTP policies and procedures, in line with local requirements, that will apply to the activities in Belgium (see the page “Policies, procedures, processes and internal control measures”), including the different SLAs that could be concluded for outsourcing AML/CFT tasks (see the page “Performance of obligations by third parties”);
  • the necessary information on the person designated as senior officer responsible for AML/CFTP and the person designated as AMLCO (see the page “Governance”), including at least:
    • the curriculum vitae of these persons; 
    • an organisational chart that shows the position of these functions within the financial institution and which reflects their hierarchical and functional lines;
    • if the senior officer responsible for AML/CFTP also performs another function which could give rise to a conflict of interest for that person, a description of the measures taken by the financial institution to prevent such a conflict from occurring;
    • if the AMLCO performs other functions or carries out other tasks within the financial institution or within the group to which it belongs, an estimate of the time actually spent on AML/CFTP tasks and an assessment of any potential conflicts of interest this combination of functions or tasks could give rise to;
    • if a single person serves as both the senior officer responsible for AML/CFTP and as the AMLCO, the justification for applying the principle of proportionality;
  • the schedule for the launch of the activities in Belgium and information on the planned business model and volume of business.

If the institution intends to simultaneously or within a short time frame open subsidiaries, branches or other types of establishments in other EEA Member States or in third countries, the file should also include the policies and procedures at group level, including the process applied by the entities of the group for assessing the risks to which they are exposed, as well as a description of the methods used by the Belgian institution to monitor the compliance of their branches, subsidiaries or other types of establishments with these policies and procedures (see the page “Belgian parent companies”).

Financial institutions governed by the law of another EEA Member State or of a third country that have undertaken to establish a subsidiary or branch in Belgium should provide proof that the AML/CFTP policy drawn up at group level which is applicable in the subsidiary or branch has been reviewed for compliance with Belgian legal and regulatory requirements (see the page “Belgian subsidiaries and branches”). In addition, the NBB considers that the AMLCO of a branch in Belgium should be appointed among employees that are physically based in that branch (see point 2.2.2. of the page “Governance” and point 3. of the page “Belgian subsidiaries and branches”).

Finally, financial institutions governed by the law of another EEA Member State or of a third country that are established on Belgian territory in a form other than a branch or subsidiary in order to offer financial services or products there, should refer to the page “Central contact points”.