German banking regulator calls for better coordination, ‘urgent’ action in anti-money laundering
22 Jan 2019

The president of German financial watchdog BaFin has urged firms to treat the fight against money laundering as a ‘very high priority,’ and called for better coordination in Europe to tackle the crime.

In a recent speech, BaFin chief Felix Hufeld referred to reports of suspected cases of money laundering at domestic and foreign banks.

A number of European banks made headlines over money laundering issues in 2018, including ING which was fined €775m for having poor money laundering controls in place, and Danske Bank’s suspected €200 billion money laundering scandal.

In November, the offices of Deutsche Bank were raided regarding the Panama Papers.

“For me, money laundering prevention is an urgent priority, and I would like it to be evident from the way that all institutions conduct business that it is a very high priority for them, too,” Hufeld explained.

“True to the phrase in the Bible: ‘You will know them by what they do,’” he added.

“Better coordination is needed in Europe: on this point I emphatically welcome the steps that been taken so far.”

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