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Green light for EU rules to combat money-laundering

24 April 2024, 23:39 CET
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Green light for EU rules to combat money-laundering

Money laundering - Photo © Maksym Yemelyanov - Fotolia

(STRASBOURG) - The EU Parliament adopted a package of laws Wednesday to strengthen the EU's fight against money-laundering and terrorist financing, including a new agency to oversee riskiest entities.

The new laws aim to ensure that people with a legitimate interest, including journalists, media professionals, civil society organisations, competent authorities, and supervisory bodies, will have immediate, unfiltered, direct and free access to beneficial ownership information held in national registries and interconnected at EU level. In addition to current information, the registries will also include data going back at least five years.

The laws include enhanced due diligence measures and checks on customers' identity, after which so-called obliged entities (e.g. banks, assets and crypto assets managers or real and virtual estate agents) have to report suspicious activities to FIUs and other competent authorities. From 2029, top-tier professional football clubs involved in high-value financial transactions with investors or sponsors, including advertisers and the transfer of players will also have to verify their customers' identities, monitor transactions, and report any suspicious transaction to FIUs.

The legislation contains enhanced vigilance provisions regarding ultra-rich individuals (total wealth worth at least EUR 50,000,000, excluding their main residence), an EU-wide limit of EUR 10,000 on cash payments, except between private individuals in a non-professional context, and measures to ensure compliance with targeted financial sanctions and avoid sanctions being circumvented.

To supervise the new rules on combatting money laundering, a new authority - the Authority for Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AMLA) - will be established in Frankfurt. AMLA will be charged with directly supervising the riskiest financial entities, intervening in case of supervisory failures, acting as a central hub for supervisors and mediating disputes between them. AMLA will also supervise the implementation of targeted financial sanctions.

The laws now need to be formally adopted by the Council, before publication in the EU's Official Journal.

Procedure file (directive), European Parliament

Procedure file (regulation)

Procedure file (AMLA regulation)

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