Money laundering: Council sets strategic priorities for further reforms

The Council today adopted conclusions on strategic priorities on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML).

The conclusions are a direct response to the EU strategic agenda for 2019-2024 where the European Council calls for “strengthening our fight against terrorism and cross-border crime, improving cooperation and information-sharing and further developing our common instruments”.

The conclusions point to significant recent enhancements to the AML regulatory framework. The implementation of the 5th revision of the AML directive, adopted in May 2018, the new capital requirements directive for banks (CRD5), adopted in May 2019, as well as the review of the functioning of the European Supervisory Authorities, adopted on 2 December, will all strengthen the rules on tackling money laundering and terrorist financing.

In this context, the Council urges for the swift transposition of all AML legislation into national law and for the strengthening of their effective implementation

The conclusions also build on the Commission’s communication and four reports published in July 2019 that provide an overview of current challenges and identify a range of shortcomings with respect to banks, AML authorities, prudential supervisors and intra-EU cooperation and conclude that there is fragmentation in both AML rules and supervision.

The Council therefore invites the Commission to explore possible further actions to enhance the existing AML rules, in particular by considering: 

  • ways of ensuring a more robust and effective cooperation between the relevant authorities and bodies involved in anti-money laundering and terrorist financing, including through addressing impediments on exchange of information between them;
  • whether some aspects could be better addressed through a regulation;
  • possibilities, advantages and disadvantages of conferring certain supervisory responsibilities and powers to an EU body.

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