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EBA demands a single set of AML rules across Europe to tackle money laundering

By Dan Byrne

The European Banking Authority (EBA) wants a single rule book to be made for tackling financial crime.

This will help strengthen the EU’s defence against the practices of money laundering and the financing of terrorism, the authority says.

Existing anti-money laundering legislation is already in place across the EU but has been incorporated into laws set by the national parliaments and is put into practice on a national level, allowing for inconsistency, the EBA argues.

The body’s recommendations now call for those laws to be set by the EU itself – at least in the areas of customer due diligence, occasional transactions, supervision, risk assessment, inter-organisational cooperation and sanctions.

These measures will “provide legal certainty, a level playing field for market participants and importantly, strengthen the EU’s AML/CFT defences.”

In addition, the EBA is pushing for the expansion of existing legal AML provisions, wherever they are currently not robust or specific enough, as well as a review of the entities currently obliged to work under the EU’s AML regulations.

The EBA’s report was written in response to a plea for advice from the European Commission in March of this year.  

The Commission noted the EBA’s broad range of expertise in regulating the financial services sector and asked it to make suggestions for regulations that tackle financial crime, how those regulations would be enacted, and where they would apply.

With the suggestions now published, the European Banking Federation, representing 32 national banking associations across Europe, has retweeted the proposals and said, “action is needed to boost the fight against dirty money in Europe.”

They had previously published their own blueprint for tackling financial crime earlier this year.

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