EUROPE’S patchy enforcement of money laundering laws is slowly coming to an end.
Tuesday’s announcement that there is a new sherrif in town isn’t a surprise – albeit he or she hasn’t been identified yet and won’t be in place until 2023 or fully operational for another three years.
Plus take a seat and watch on as Europe’s heavyweights fight over where the AMLA will be based – Frankfurt, Rome, Amsterdam or even stay aligned with the EBA in Paris. Remember that dogfight when the EBA had to leave London and Paris, Dublin and Amsterdam slugged it out?
Member States have been given too much leeway to implement AML Directives which has led toxic wriggle room and a catastrophic lack of co-ordination. Throw in the Danske and Deutsche scandals which were only uncovered by the US, which was also the only entity to impose fines. “States have a lot of space to implement at the moment and this have been very diverse with a lot of fragmentation, one Commission official says (rather politely).
The new decentralised agency will oversee the work of national supervisory authorities and in a small number of cases directly supervise the biggest and riskiest fish. It cannot yet say how many of these there are, officials said. Think an operating model like the SSM at the European Central Bank says the official about how this will operate.