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New EU plan to counter money laundering strongly welcomed by global coalition

By Daniel Byrne
for AMLi

The European Commission’s new action plan to fight money laundering has received broad endorsement from the Global Coalition to Fight Financial Crime (GCFFC).

The grouping of associations such as Europol and the World Economic Forum has approved the plan following consultation with all relevant stakeholders.

They said the plan aligns with their own goal of enabling stakeholders to easily identify and tackle weaknesses in their money laundering prevention efforts.

The group praised the commission for recognising public-private partnerships, or the sharing of information across different organisations, as an essential element in building an effective anti-money laundering system, noting that, “only by becoming a network will we be able to fight a network.”

The action plan itself, originally published in May 2020, is the latest in more than thirty years of EU work to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorist organisations.

It specifically re-commits the EU to a zero-tolerance policy for such activities within its borders, and notes that the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic led to a rise in financial crime and a greater need for the action plan.

Among the plan’s provisions, it calls for establishing a ‘single rule book’ for anti-money laundering purposes, establishing further networking mechanisms for financial intelligence units to share information, and specifically drafting EU-level law to enforce this sharing of information.

A proposal within the plan to harmonise beneficial ownership register laws across EU member-states have been praised by the Coalition as a way of making them more transparent and effective.

The Coalition is now calling for the EU to strengthen its role in anti-money laundering activity going forward, and to increase cooperation with international partners as it begins to draft further legislation.

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