Anti Money Laundering (AML) in Belgium
Click to Launch Free Tutorial
|Money laundering in Belgium is a significant problem, especially in regards to the increasing number of underground banking operations.
Money laundering in Belgium is illegal through the Law of January 11, 1993, "On Preventing Use of the Financial System for Purposes of Money Laundering." It is criminalized by Article 505 of the Penal Code, which sets penalties of imprisonment for up to five years. In January 2004, Belgian domestic legislation implementing Council Directive 2001/97/EC on prevention of the use of the financial system for money laundering entered into force, broadening the scope of money laundering predicate offenses beyond drug-trafficking to include the financing of terrorist acts or organizations. This law was amended in January of 2010 to incorporate the European Union's third AML Directive.
For the purposes of money laundering and terrorist financing, Belgian financial institutions are supervised by the Belgian Banking and Finance Commission (CBFA), which also supervises exchange houses, stock brokerages and insurance companies. The Belgian Gaming Commission oversees casinos, and CTIF-CFI oversees some professions not supervised by CBFA or other authorities.
AML Training in Belgium
Belgium's Law On Preventing Use of the Financial System for Purposes of Money Laundering requires all financial institutions within the country of Belgium to implement comprehensive training programs to help officials combat money laundering and other illicit financial transactions.
The Economy of Belgium
This modern, private-enterprise economy has capitalized on its central geographic location, highly developed transport network, and diversified industrial and commercial base.
With few natural resources, Belgium must import substantial quantities of raw materials and export a large volume of manufactures, making its economy unusually dependent on the state of world markets. Roughly three-quarters of its trade is with other European Union (EU) countries.
Banking in Belgium
The monetary functions of the ECB include: the opening of accounts for credit institutions, public entities and other market entities; the opening of market and credit operations; requiring credit institutions to hold minimum reserves, regulating to create an efficient and sound clearing and payments system; and cooperating with third country central banks, credit institutions and international organizations.
The ECB has the exclusive right to set interest rates for the Eurozone.
The currency in Belgium is the Euro, which serves as the currency of the 15 members of the European Central Bank. The states that have adopted the Euro as currency make up the Eurozone. These countries are Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain. The Euro is the single currency for more than 320 million Europeans.
The Euro was first phased into the global economy in 1999. In the beginning, participating countries had to combat the use of both Euros and former national currencies. Beginning in 2002, national currencies were withdrawn.
The Euro comes in both banknotes and coins. Banknotes are available in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 denominations. Coins are available in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 cent pieces, and 1 and 2 Euro coins.
Other Key Statistics about Belgium
Time Zone: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time).
Daylight Savings Time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October.
Location: Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between France and the Netherlands.
Population: 11,155,245 (June 2015 est.).
Labor Force: Approximately 2% work in agriculture, 25% in industry and 73% in services industries. The unemployment rate is 7.5%.
Languages Spoken: Dutch (official), French (official) and German (official).
Trade Organizations: Belgium is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).