EU states endorse new plans to supervise banks on money laundering
20 Dec 2018

EU member states have agreed on a plan aimed at strengthening the European Banking Authority’s supervisory powers in order to better address money laundering problems following a rise in banking financial crime scandals.

Under the plans, the EBA – as a last resort – will be able to directly handle bank cases if national authorities fail to act, and it will also be able to collect information from member states about problems surrounding the failure to prevent money laundering or terrorist financing.

The EBA will also be tasked with performing risk assessments on competent authorities to evaluate their capabilities to address AML risks. In addition, it will facilitate cooperation with non-EU countries on cross-border cases.

“Strengthening the role and powers of the EBA as regards anti-money laundering supervision for financial institutions would ensure that anti-money laundering rules are effectively applied in all member states and all authorities involved (in particular prudential and anti-money laundering supervisors) cooperate closely with each other,” the Council of the EU said in a statement.

Having reached an agreement on the plans, the next stage is expected to see the text being presented to Parliament before it becomes law.

Wednesday’s Council announcement on an agreement reached regarding the EBA and money laundering comes after the Council adopted an action plan on 4 December 2018, setting out short term non-legislative actions to better tackle AML challenges.

In particular, the Council recommended that a “post-mortem” analysis of recent money laundering cases in EU banks would be carried out to understand how they came about and to help shape possible additional actions.

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