Update prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing
On 5 December 2019, the Council of the European Union (the “Council”) published a document in which it sets out several conclusions on strategic priorities on the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing (the “Document”). These conclusions mostly concern the improvement of the joint cooperation in relation to the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing.
The prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing remains a topic of priority within the European Union. In the Document, the Council recognises the significance of recent changes to the European legislative framework in relation to the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing (the “Legislative Framework”), including the adoption of the Fifth Anti-money laundering Directive (Directive (EU) 2018/843). The Council urges the EU Member States to implement the Legislative Framework into its national legislation as soon as possible in order to ensure an effective harmonisation of the Legislative Framework. It is important that the various competent authorities are enabled to perform their task in relation to the Legislative Framework more effectively. The Council notes that this not only applies to the financial sector, but also to other relevant sectors.
Lastly, the Council request the European Commission to take action on the following topics:
- a thorough assessment of possible restrictions resulting from existing legislation (or the lack thereof) in relation to efficient information exchange and cooperation between the relevant competent authorities involved with the implementation and supervising of the Legislative Framework;
- a further assessment of the possibilities to improve the Legislative Framework, including the possibility to implement such points of attention into a regulation;
- an assessment of the possibilities in relation to the supervision of the Legislative Framework, including the granting of certain supervision-related tasks to a specific and independent EU body; and
- to report every six months in relation to the above, starting from June 2020.
Please do not hesitate to contact our Banking & Finance team if you have any further questions regarding the consequences of the Document for you.