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SMEs against money laundering

On numerous occasions, just like the feature films, laws have really grandiloquent titles that do not seem to be related in any way to the daily transactions of the SMEs. However, the small print of all of these laws has to be read to determine whether they have to be enforced or not. This is the case of the law on the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, seeing as its title is so striking that it might be considered to be irrelevant for the operations of the SMEs of the province. Perhaps that is why “only 10% of the affected companies have applied it in their organisations, although, nothing could be further from the truth. The law provides for an extensive sphere of application for two reasons: firstly, because, according to the data from the OECD, almost 5% of the world’s GDP is affected by «laundered» money –a piece of information that is more than significant- and, secondly, because the prevention is presented in this law as being a protective activity that involves everyone who receives, intermediates or intervenes with money transactions when the source is unclear or as the law states, the money has a suspicious origin” according to Laura Vicente, Partner and General Manager of Gesem.

In this sense, there are many types of transactions that are affected. The first that comes to mind is the activities of the financial institutions, but the fact is that the area of application also includes property development, the asset management advice services, the philanthropic activities, etc. Although the regulation has lessened the obligations that the smaller companies must comply with –less than 2 million euros turnover and 10 employees, the law is the same when it comes to implementing and applying preventive and control measures on their clients.

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