European Central Bank to launch EU anti-money laundering office
21 Nov 2018

The European Central Bank (ECB) is to set up an anti-money laundering office which will collect and share data from authorities within the EU, ECB chief supervisor Daniele Nouy reportedly said.

The plans, announced on Tuesday, stem from euro zone banking watchdog, the ECB’s Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM).

Speaking to EU lawmakers about money laundering and other issues, Nouy stated: “The AML Office will set up and chair ‘an AML Network’ among Joint Supervisory Teams in charge of the banks whose business model leads to a high level of money laundering risks.”

According to Reuters, Nouy said the SSM’s plan was “in full respect of the allocation of anti-money laundering responsibilities within the current legal framework”.

The latest efforts to improve the EU’s financial crime regime come after a string of money laundering scandals were exposed across the bloc, with growing calls for the EU to do more to address the crisis.

On Monday, a new twist to the Danske Bank money laundering scandal emerged when whistleblower and former Danske Bank employee Howard Wilkinson revealed that billions of suspicious money processed by the bank made its way to a bank in Europe and two banks in the United States.

Wilkinson did not name the banks, but Deutsche Bank is believed to have processed up to $150 billion of the $230 billion thought to have been laundered.

Nouy has previously called for an EU agency to be set up to police anti-money laundering rules, saying in March: “We need an European institution that is implementing in a thorough, deep, consistent fashion this legislation in the Euro area […] We need to change the situation. It’s not sustainable to stay in that situation.”

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