The state will have easier access to information on the owners or disposers of bank accounts

Written by Mgr. Erik Schváb

In May 2022, Act No. 123/2022 Coll. on the Central Register of Accounts and Amendments and Additions to Certain Acts (hereinafter as the "Act") entered into force. The Act will regulate the rights and obligations related to the operation of the register of accounts, which will allow selected public authorities to have electronic access to information on accounts.

The obligation to establish a central account register stems from European directives governing the prevention of the use of financial systems for money laundering. The Ministry of Finance will establish and manage the account register, which will be operational on 1st  January 2023.

Although the Ministry of the Interior originally wanted to collect also account balances of people and companies, according to the adopted Law, the register will contain only basic identification data on payment accounts, including savings accounts, as well as data on securities property accounts held by both securities dealers and banks.

Authorised entities that will be able to request data from the register in justified cases are, for example, special units of the financial police, law enforcement authorities and courts for criminal proceedings, the Financial Directorate of the Slovak Republic, the National Security Office, the Slovak Information Service1.

Banks will be obliged to electronically enter data into the register daily and will be responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the data. Failure to comply with this obligation will be an administrative offence for which a fine of up to EUR 500,000 may be imposed.

The Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic should still issue a decree in the summer of 2022, which will regulate the details of reporting and sending data to the register.

In addition to the new Act, Act No. 297/2008 on the Protection against the Legalization of Proceeds of Crime and the Protection against the Financing of Terrorism has also been amended, specifically, the Unusual Business Transaction Act, to require banks to report transactions where there is a reasonable expectation that the proceeds have not only been or will be used to finance criminal activity, but are also related to criminal activity. There will also be an obligation to carry out more thorough checks on the ultimate beneficial owner.





[1] The full list of authorised persons is set out in Section 5 Paragraph 1 of the Act

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