Information accompanying transfers of funds

Regulation (EU) 2015/847 of 20 May 2015 on information accompanying transfers of funds (“Regulation (EU) 2015/847 ”) repeals Regulation (CE) 1781/2006 (“Regulation 2006”) which laid down the rules for nearly a decade on the information accompanying transfers of funds with relation to the payer. The requirements of Regulation (EU) 2015/847 became applicable on 26 June 2017. The CSSF has pointed out the main changes introduced by this Regulation in its Circular 17/660 .

The objective of Regulation (EU) 2015/847 is to update and strengthen the anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) regulation by ensuring the traceability of payment transactions, thereby facilitating the prevention, detection and investigation of money laundering and terrorist financing. In order to achieve this goal, Regulation (EU) 2015/847 updates and extends the existing requirements under Regulation 2006.

One of the main innovations of Regulation (EU) 2015/847 is that it lays down rules about information accompanying transfers not only in relation to the payer but also the payee (as opposed to Regulation 2006), thereby implementing TAFTF Recommendation N°16 on wire transfers (“Recommendation N°16”). The aim of Recommendation N°16 is “to ensure that basic information on the originator and the beneficiary of wire transfers is immediately available”1.

As of 26 June 2017, information relating to both payers and payees must accompany a transfer of funds, sent or received in any currency, when either the payer’s or payee’s payment service provider (“PSP”), or an intermediary PSP is established in the European Union.

However, Regulation (EU) 2015/847 does not set out in detail what PSPs should do to comply with the new requirements under Regulation (EU) 2015/847. For this reason, Article 25 of Regulation (EU) 2015/847 requires the European Supervisory Authorities to issue guidelines to competent authorities and PSPs on the measures to be implemented and in particular with respect to Articles 7, 8, 11 and 12 of Regulation (EU) 2015/8472.

The records of information on the payer and the payee may be kept by the payment service providers for a period of 5 years and may be extended for a further period of 5 years “where the necessity and proportionality of such further retention has been established for the prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution of suspected money laundering or terrorist financing”3.

Finally, it should be noted that Regulation (EU) 2015/847 imposes obligations on PSPs only, and not on payment service users. In addition, Article 2 of Regulation (EU) 2015/847 also provides for cases that fall out of its scope. For instance, Regulation (EU) 2015/847 does not apply to persons that have no activity other than to convert paper documents into electronic data and that do so pursuant to a contract with a payment service provider, or to persons that have no activity other than to provide payment service providers with messaging or other support systems for transmitting funds or with clearing and settlement systems4.

1.The FATF Recommendations , Interpretative note to Recommendation N°16 (Wire Tranfers), p. 70, updated June 2017.
2.Consultation Paper on Draft Joint Guidelines under Article 25 of Regulation (EU) 2015/847 on the measures payment service providers should take to detect missing or incomplete information on the payer and the payee, and the procedures they should put in place to manage a transfer of funds lacking the required information, 5 April 2017, JC/GL/2017/16 , p.4.
3.Regulation (EU) 2015/847, Article 16.1.
4.Regulation (EU) 2015/847, Article 2(4).