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The  Commission  has decided  to  send a  reasoned  opinion (second  stage of
proceedings  under Article  169 of  the EC  Treaty) to  Austria,  which still
allows anonymous  savings  and  securities accounts  in  breach of  Directive
91/308/EEC on money laundering.

It  welcomes the  announcement  by the  Austrian authorities  that  anonymous
securities  accounts  are   soon  to  be  abolished.  However,  it   is  very
disappointed  that Austria  intends  to  preserve  the anonymity  of  savings
accounts.  Unlike  the Austrian  authorities,  it  takes the  view  that  the
maintenance of  anonymity is incompatible with  the obligations laid down  in
the above Directive  (customer identification when a bank account  is opened,
and keeping of supporting evidence). 

Failing  a  satisfactory reply  from the  Austrian  authorities  within forty
working days of receiving the reasoned opinion, the Commission may  refer the
matter to the Court of Justice.


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