New money laundering package from the Commission
Yesterday, 20 July 2021, the Commission presented a number of legislative proposals to strengthen the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.
The Commission states that the general purpose of the overall package is to address three main issues:
- Lack of clear and consistent rules on money laundering in the EU. The Commission argues that the rules in the Member States are inadequate in certain situations and that companies operating across borders may have difficulty adapting to the different sets of rules.
- Inconsistent supervision across the internal market. The Commission notes that the authorities act differently and that there is therefore a difference in the supervision to which undertakings are subject in the Member States.
- Inadequate coordination and exchange of information between financial intelligence units (FIUs). The Commission points out that this may mean that the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing is not effective enough.
The complete package of bills includes:
- Establishment of a joint EU money laundering authority, which also includes a mechanism for enhanced cooperation and exchange of information between financial intelligence units (“Financial Intelligence Units”, FIU´s – in Denmark the Money Laundering Secretariat).The proposal requires the EU to set up a joint money laundering authority, which will operate on the basis of a common and harmonized set of rules in cooperation with national competent authorities. The EU Money Laundering Authority must supervise selected financial institutions (selected on the basis of risks, size and cross-border activities), indirectly supervise the other financial institutions, and monitor / coordinate the supervision of non-financial actors. In addition, the supervisory authority must be responsible for regulatory work, etc. in the field currently located in the EBA (European Banking Authority).
- New money laundering regulationThe proposal calls for large parts of the current Money Laundering Directive to be transposed into a Money Laundering Regulation, which will be directly applicable in the Member States. The purpose of the regulation is to ensure high and more harmonized standards for the fight against money laundering and establishes, inter alia, the types of companies that are covered by the money laundering rules, as well as the requirements for these, including requirements for internal policies and procedures, customer knowledge requirements, etc.
- Amendment of the EU Money Laundering DirectiveA new money laundering directive (the sixth, AMLD6) will replace the current one. The new directive updates the rules and ensures coherence with the other proposals in the AML package. The proposal contains i.a. requirements regarding risk assessments, registers of beneficial owners of companies as well as a clarification of tasks and competencies for money laundering supervisory authorities.
- Amendment of the Money Transfer Regulation with regard to cryptocurrencies
According to the proposal, the information to be provided in connection with money transfers should also apply to transfers of cryptocurrencies. The proposal implements a recommendation from the FATF (“Financial Action Task Force”, which is an intergovernmental international cooperation on, among other things, the fight against money laundering) and implies that providers of cryptocurrencies and related services must store information about sellers and buyers of cryptocurrencies. to know who their customers are.
The bills will now be considered in the Council and in the European Parliament following the EU’s ordinary legislative process.