Spain: nancial ownership
le and money
Alberto Gil Soriano
Fiscal Department, Uria Menendez Abogados, SLP. Barcelona, Spain
Purpose – This paper aims to analyse the legal conguration of the Spanish nancial ownership le
and identies its main legal shortcomings and its necessity and proportionality.
Design/methodology/approach – The primary and secondary sources of information on which this
paper is based are statutes and reports issued by Spanish consultative bodies, respectively. Article 43 of
Act 10/2010 of 28 April on the prevention of money laundering and terrorist nancing created the
“nancial ownership le”, a publicly owned personal data le containing information on the opening
and cancellation of all types of nancial accounts. The recently enacted Royal Decree 304/2014 of 5 May
approving the Regulations of Act 10/2010 contains further guidance.
Findings – The objective of the nancial ownership le is laudable, but the way it has been congured
creates new obligations that it could be argued are unnecessary as there are already mechanisms in
place to obtain the information in question. The recently enacted regulations raise concerns to the
author about access rights, data protection and monitoring, among other aspects.
Originality/value – This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the Spanish nancial
ownership le, a topic not yet explored in great detail, and could be useful for other legislatures
intending to implement similar systems in their countries.
Keywords Regulations, Spain, Money laundering, Data protection, Asset tracing,
Paper type Research paper
1. The nancial ownership le: using sledgehammers to crack nuts
Article 43 of Act 10/2010 of 28 April on the prevention of money laundering and terrorist
nancing created the nancial ownership le (“FOF”), a publicly owned personal data
le containing information on the opening and cancellation of all types of nancial
accounts (current accounts, saving accounts, security accounts and term deposits). In
May 2014, the Spanish government enacted Royal Decree (RD) 304/2014 of 5 May
approving the Regulations of Act 10/2010 (RD 304/2014), which contains detailed
provisions on the creation, operation and access to such les. The FOF is operative since
6 May 2016.
Spanish credit institutions hold ca. 93 million nancial accounts (excluding securities
accounts). According to the Spanish Banking Association (AEB) (Asociación Española
de Banca, 2015), the Spanish Confederation of Savings Banks (CECA) (Confederación
Española de Cajas de Ahorro, 2015) and the National Association of Credit Unions
The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Kathleen Dooley.
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
Journalof Money Laundering
Vol.19 No. 3, 2016
©Emerald Group Publishing Limited