Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) wants to improve the fight against money laundering, his plans for this have already become known. According to Lindner, a planned new federal authority should start work as quickly as possible. "We want to act very quickly and there will be results over the course of this legislature," he said. "We're going at it with great speed."
It's about the "courage to make a big leap" and a fundamental change in structures, he said. "We want to achieve internationally visible progress."
More efficient, faster and more compact
With the creation of the new federal authority, the previous structures in the fight against money laundering should be made more efficient, said Lindner. "There will certainly also be an increase in personnel, but essentially it is about a paradigm shift in the method." Therefore, a "very noticeable increase in personnel" is not to be expected.
The new federal authority is to bundle the previously fragmented competencies. According to Lindner, it will have four pillars. A new Federal Financial Criminal Police Office is to have its own search area and real investigative powers. The responsibilities for the enforcement of sanctions should be located in one place. The previous anti-money laundering unit FIU should be integrated into the new federal authority as the third pillar. According to Lindner, there should also be a central office for the supervision of the non-financial sector at the federal level in order to coordinate state responsibilities and define standards.
Abolish "paradise for money laundering".
According to some observers, Germany is a "paradise for money laundering," he admitted. "We cannot be satisfied with that." Financial crime is "not a trivial offense". The previous "very complex and fragmented structure of authorities" hinders the effective fight against such machinations, said Lindner.
"In Germany we take great care of the small fish in financial crime. But the big fish swim away from us," said Lindner. In the future, one wants to get to the people behind the crimes. To do this, follow the money trail. "Our goal is a more effective fight against financial crime, more effective enforcement of sanctions and stronger legislation to protect honest taxpayers and honest traders from those who don't follow the rules."
Lindner announced that he would set up a "project organization" in his ministry "in the next few days" to prepare for the establishment of the new federal authority. Talks within the federal government are already underway, and talks are also being held with the federal states and the responsible staff councils. Lindner described the initial feedback as "very encouraging".