Guidelines on policies and controls for the effective management of ML/TF risks when providing access to financial services

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The guidelines concern the general phenomenon of ‘de-risking’. This term refers to cases where (certain groups of) customers are refused access to financial services because of higher ML/TF risks.The guidelines explain that a customer can only be refused services on grounds of ML/TF risk factors after various other options have first been considered (such as increasing the intensity of monitoring measures). The guidelines also set out the steps that institutions must take when considering refusing or terminating a business relationship with a customer on grounds of ML/TF risk factors (such as documenting its decisions). The guidelines also clarify the interaction between access to financial services and compliance with the AML/CFT obligations in situations where customers have justifiable reasons for not being able to meet the traditional requirements of customer due diligence (CDD).

The FSMA considers that these guidelines help clarify the application of certain provisions of the Law of 18 December 2017 and of the FSMA Regulation of 3 July 2018. The FSMA will therefore incorporate these guidelines into its supervisory policy as from 3 November 2023, and will use them, in particular, when assessing the adequacy of the risk assessments and of the policies and procedures relating to combating money laundering and terrorist financing that have been drawn up by the entities under the FSMA’s supervision.


  • See the EBA Guidelines of 13 March 2023
  • Read more in Circular FSMA_2023_20 on policy and monitoring with a view to effective management of ML/FT risk factors when granting access to financial services (available in French - Dutch only)
  • Read more in Circular FSMA_2023_21 on non-profit organizations (available in French - Dutch only)