What is Financial Intelligence Unit?

What is Financial Intelligence Unit? 

Countries need to take some measures against money laundering and terrorist financing. AML regulations or regular risk assessments that businesses must comply with are some of these measures. Countries should also establish a Financial Intelligence Unit to analyze terrorist financing and report money laundering activities. 

The Financial Intelligence Unit started to be established in the early 1990s. Today, many countries have Financial Intelligence Units. The need for an authority to receive, evaluate and share financial information has revealed the Financial Intelligence Unit. 

Money laundering scandals from past to present have led countries to increase the severity of businesses' sanctions. In addition to this, many of the AML regulations created by national and international institutions draw attention to the Suspicious Activity Report (SAR). Businesses are obliged to report any money laundering risks or activities to financial intelligence units. Thus, the financial intelligence unit helps prevent money laundering risks by evaluating suspicious transactions. 

Also, FIUs have the authority to postpone transactions, check whether reporting organizations comply with AML / CTF obligations, train and guide authorized organizations about AML/CTF. 


What is The Aim of the Financial Intelligence Unit? 

The Financial Intelligence Unit is the collection of information about the financial affairs of businesses. One of the main purposes is to understand the nature and capabilities of businesses. However, the main objectives of the financial intelligence unit can be listed as follows: 

  • To identify financial transactions involving various criminal activities of tax evasion, money laundering, corruption. 
  • Reporting suspicious activities and creating Suspicious Transaction Report. 
  • Determining the financing of crime and terrorist organizations 
  • Sharing of financial information and data collected with other countries through intergovernmental networks.  


What is Egmont Group?

Egmont Group is a unified structure established in 1995 to ensure secure financial transfer between Financial Intelligence Units. It consists of 159 financial intelligence units and helps develop anti-money laundering systems.

Accordingly, the main task of the financial intelligence units affiliated with the Egmont Group is to collect, analyze and forward financial information on money laundering and terrorist financing to the relevant departments. However, some Financial Intelligence Units also have the authority to investigate and conduct money laundering investigations.