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'Digital customer profile' means more autonomy and less bureaucracy Through the introduction of digitalisation, Löger is making Austria's financial centre operations simpler and quicker 

Vienna (OTS) – Through the availability since 15 January 2018 of the Register of Beneficial Owners (under the Austrian Beneficial Owners Register Act (BORA)), Austria has set internationally-recognized standards on the prevention of money-laundering. As a result, international delegations are regularly seeking out an exchange of ideas with the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance, with the aim of implementing the Austrian rules in their home country.

Now, the Austrian federal government is taking a further step towards underpinning its pioneering role in the FinTech sector. Through the BORA Compliance Package, which is being sent for evaluation today, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance is taking further advantage of digitalisation, enabling investors to get more out of the financial market through an autonomous process, and without the requirement of multiple submissions, through using a 'Digital Customer Profile'.

According to Austrian Finance Minister Hartwig Löger: "The 'Digital Customer Profile', which forms part of the BORA Compliance Package, is a further flagship project of the Fintech Advisory Council and is a prime example showing how innovations can be developed and implemented in collaboration with the relevant stakeholders for the benefit of customers and financial institutions."

At present, companies subject to the Know-Your-Customer process are required several times a year to transmit to various credit institutions documents relating to ownership and control structure and, according to the terms of a Financial Market Authority (FMA) Circular, some documents are only valid for six weeks. At the same time, documents have to be provided not only for the top-level domestic entity, but also for all subsidiaries. The cost of this is unnecessarily high, and important approval processes, such as the granting of loans, end up being delayed.

"Through the BORA Compliance Package, we are expanding the Beneficial Owners Register Act to create a platform which replaces the establishment and verification of beneficial owners, covering a period of a whole year. In future, therefore, it will be sufficient to transmit the required documents just once to the Register, following which they will be valid for one year," explained Finance Minister Mr Löger, elucidating the solution which has now been instituted. In the process, investors themselves can determine who may inspect the documents.

"All parties therefore benefit from simplification of the KYC process: companies, financial and credit institutions, tax advisers and lawyers. At the same time, through the BORA Compliance Package, we are heightening our money-laundering prevention measures, since through the central platform, company data is more up-to-date and more easily available," concluded State Secretary Hubert Fuchs.

Examples showing application of the Compliance Package and a preview of the registration forms to be introduced, as well as the future user interface, may be found on the website of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance, at www.bmf.gv.at/wiereg  

 12 April 2019