Recommendation 20: Reporting of suspicious transactions

If a financial institution suspects or has reasonable grounds to suspect that funds are the proceeds of a criminal activity, or are related to terrorist financing, it should be required, by law, to report promptly its suspicions to the financial intelligence unit (FIU).


1. The reference to criminal activity in Recommendation 20 refers to all criminal acts that would constitute a predicate offence for money laundering or, at a minimum, to those offences that would constitute a predicate offence, as required by Recommendation 3. Countries are strongly encouraged to adopt the first of these alternatives.

2. The reference to terrorist financing in Recommendation 20 refers to: the financing of terrorist acts and also terrorist organisations or individual terrorists, even in the absence of a link to a specific terrorist act or acts.

3. All suspicious transactions, including attempted transactions, should be reported regardless of the amount of the transaction.

4. The reporting requirement should be a direct mandatory obligation, and any indirect or implicit obligation to report suspicious transactions, whether by reason of possible prosecution for a money laundering or terrorist financing offence or otherwise (so called “indirect reporting”), is not acceptable.