News EU, 20 July 2021
European Commission presents new anti-money laundering package
On 20 July, the European Commission presented a package of legislative proposals to strengthen the EU’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) rules. It includes the creation of a new European authority dedicated to combating money laundering (“European Anti-Money Laundering Authority” or AMLA). The AMLA is not intended to replace national authorities, but rather to coordinate them and ensure that European rules are properly applied. To this end, the Agency will carry out direct supervision of the entities identified as most risky in the cross-border financial sector and indirect supervision of other entities in the financial and non-financial sector. It will also have a support and coordination role for national financial intelligence units (FIUs). The new EU agency is expected to be legally in place by early 2023 and to be operational in 2024 for all tasks assigned to it, except for its direct supervisory activities. Direct supervision will not be effective until 2026.
In addition to the creation of a new EU agency, the European Commission has proposed :
– a revision of the 2015 regulation on money transfers > Read more
– a new regulation to harmonise the application of rules across the EU > Read more
– and a proposal for a sixth anti-money laundering directive > Read more
Among the main new features is the extension of the list of entities subject to EU anti-money laundering rules. The European Commission proposes to cover all types and categories of crypto-asset service providers from now on, as well as crowdfunding service providers, which are not covered by the current EU rules, mortgage intermediaries and consumer credit providers that are not financial institutions, as well as operators working in residency-by-investment schemes. The European Commission is also proposing the establishment of a cross-border system to link national registers of bank accounts, to enable law enforcement authorities to quickly determine whether a suspect holds bank accounts in other Member States and thus facilitate financial investigations. The rules are also more detailed in several areas, such as policies, internal controls and procedures, customer due diligence and transparency of beneficial ownership.
The legislative package will be discussed by the European Parliament and the Council. The anti-money laundering authority is expected to be operational in 2024 and will start direct supervisory work a little later, once the directive has been transposed and the new rules start to apply.