In 2019, the UIF received 105,789 suspicious transaction reports, 7,759 more than the previous year. The STRs analysed and transmitted to the investigative bodies exceeded those received, further reducing the backlog. The cash transactions, both deposits and withdrawals, recorded in the newly implemented threshold-based communications, amounted to an average of 4.2 million transactions for an amount of €22.5 billion per month.
In order to maintain high quality standards and given the growing amount of data, the UIF used innovative technology, broadening its information database and increasing the level of automation for the flows and processes supporting report analysis.
In 2019, the anti-money laundering system evolved further following the transposition into law of the Fifth Directive and the introduction of corrective measures to the current legislation.
The exchange of information with the judicial authorities and the investigative bodies recorded a marked increase over the previous years. There were several opportunities for cooperation with the other institutions involved in combating money laundering (supervisory authorities, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Customs and Monopolies Agency). In September 2019, the Unit signed a new memorandum of understanding with the National Anti-Corruption Authority (ANAC).
The automated processes for exchanging information with the National Anti-Mafia Directorate (DNA) introduced by the legislative reform of 2017 produced significant results for all the parties involved. Among the strategic analysis activities, the Unit developed indicators based on a study of the data contained in the balance sheets of companies involved in judicial proceedings, in order to intercept entities potentially infiltrated by organized crime.
There was a significant increase in both the volume and the structure of the information exchanges with foreign FIUs. The UIF promoted joint analyses with other FIUs for cases of particular importance involving more than one country.
It is essential to safeguard the law so that Italy can start again in the right way and so as to guarantee stability. In April 2020, the UIF issued a Communication for obliged entities to focus their attention on the potential risks connected to the COVID-19 pandemic and to support them in the detection of new types of suspicious behaviour.