The EBA underscores the need for European banks and other financial institutions to implement and comply with the restrictive measures adopted in response to the Ukrainian crisis. Financial institutions are required to assess the adequacy and effectiveness of internal controls and governance to ensure compliance with these measures and to adapt or enhance systems and processes as appropriate.
Competent authorities are working to ensure the adequacy of internal controls and governance in supervised entities. Competent authorities also collaborate closely with supervised institutions, Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) and law enforcement to identify, monitor and raise awareness of fraud typologies and financial crime and prevent circumvention of the restrictive measures. This will help ensure the homogeneous implementation of the EU restrictive measures across the financial sector and preserve the well-functioning of the Single Market.
The EBA strongly encourages banks and other financial institutions to carefully consider the prudential and business impact of the short and longer-term risks they face in light of these geopolitical developments. This includes the broader impact of economic and political sanctions as well as the increased economic uncertainty and vulnerabilities arising from the current situation. Cyber risks are a particular area requiring continued attention. Against this background, banks and other financial institutions are encouraged to consider the appropriateness of their business continuity plans.
Relief measures for refugees
On 4 March 2022, EU Ministers activated the Temporary Protection Directive (2001/55/EC) introducing temporary protection and support to persons fleeing Ukraine as a consequence of the war. National competent authorities should ensure that, in line with the Payment Accounts Directive (2014/92/EU), displaced persons from Ukraine have access to open and use payment accounts with basic services.
Financial institutions should follow a risk-based approach when providing financial products in this situation and take advantage of the flexibility enshrined in EU anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) law. The EBA Guidelines on money laundering and terrorist financing risk factors and the EBA Opinion on the Customer due diligence on asylum seekers should help financial institutions.
Queries on restrictive measures
The EU Commission will provide clarity and answer queries on the scope and implementation of the adopted restrictive measures. The EBA is supporting the European Commission in collecting and filtering such queries. Queries from competent authorities and credit institutions should be sent to Eba.firstname.lastname@example.org