15.10.2021. A single EU anti-money laundering rulebook

Company News

After multiple directives, several high-profile money laundering scandals, and numerous policy papers – money laundering remains an undiminished threat within the EU.
The European Commission summarises the consequences as follows: criminals and terrorists have a sustained means to jeopardise public security, the incidence of money laundering damages the reputation of jurisdictions, resulting in the withdrawal of financial services, which in turn has negative effects on investment, and damages the EU internal market.
In response, the Commission has recently published a series of proposals which together will address fundamental problems in Europe’s anti-money laundering (AML) regime. They are a new EU Anti-money Laundering Authority (AMLA), a first Anti-Money Laundering Regulation, a sixth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, and new regulations to trace crypto-asset transfers.
These new measures will be good for Malta and EU business in general, as they will simplify cross border financial services, and through harmonisation of standards they will weed out businesses that aggressively seek AML style risks without adequate controls. While Malta’s ‘greylisting’ has put it in the spotlight for ineffective enforcement, the  necessity of the new EU proposals illustrates that Malta is by no means the only jurisdiction which is challenged by this issue.
The new AMLA has a number of ambitious tasks and is given sweeping powers. The most risk-exposed pan-European financial institutions will come under its direct supervision. The new authority will indirectly supervise all other financial institutions through setting expectations, performing assessments, reviewing work programmes, and pressing for supervisory convergence in all member states.