Each member state must establish an FIU to prevent, detect and effectively combat money laundering and terrorist financing (Article 32(1), MLD4). Member states are to notify the Commission in writing of the name and address of their respective FIUs (Article 32(2)).
Each FIU must be operationally independent and autonomous. The FIU as the central national unit shall be responsible for receiving and analysing suspicious transaction reports and other information relevant to money laundering, associated predicate offences or terrorist financing (Article 32(3)).
Member States must ensure that the FIU is empowered to take urgent action, directly or indirectly, where there is a suspicion that a transaction is related to money laundering or terrorist financing, to suspend or withhold consent to a transaction that is proceeding, in order to analyse the transaction, confirm the suspicion and disseminate the results of the analysis to the competent authorities. The FIU shall be empowered to take such action, directly or indirectly, at the request of an FIU from another Member State for the periods and under the conditions specified in the national law of the FIU receiving the request (Article 32(7)).
Without prejudice to Article 34(2), in the context of its functions, each FIU shall be able to request, obtain and use information from any obliged entity for the purpose set out in Article 32(1), even if no prior report is filed pursuant to Article 33(1)(a) or 34(1) (Article 32(9)).
Obliged entities must co-operate fully by promptly providing an FIU, directly, at its request, with all necessary information (Article 32 (10)).