EU Council and Parliament forge comprehensive anti-money laundering deal to strengthen financial defences
On 18 January 2024, the European Council and Parliament reached a provisional agreement on an anti-money laundering package to protect the EU and its financial system. The deal includes harmonised rules across the EU, expanding the list of obligated entities to cover the crypto sector, luxury goods traders, and the football sector.
This comprehensive deal includes a range of measures designed to enhance the effectiveness of national systems, ensuring a coordinated and robust approach across member states. The package introduces co-ordinated rules applicable to obligated entities, expanding the scope to cover the crypto sector, luxury goods traders, and even professional football clubs and agents, recognising the high-risk nature of the football sector. Notably, specific provisions address enhanced due diligence for cross-border correspondent relationships involving crypto-asset service providers. Additionally, the agreement imposes an EU-wide cash payment limit of €10,000, making it more challenging for criminals to launder illicit funds.
The agreement on the directive underscores the importance of beneficial ownership transparency, with registers requiring verification and accessibility to the public, including entities subject to targeted financial sanctions. Financial intelligence units (FIUs) gain expanded access to crucial information, and supervisors will play a pivotal role in overseeing obligated entities with a risk-based approach. The agreement also emphasises the significance of ongoing risk assessments at both EU and national levels, ensuring a proactive stance in mitigating evolving threats.
As these measures await approval from member states and the European Parliament, the anti-money laundering package is ready to strengthen the EU's financial resilience and foster a more secure financial environment. This development aligns with broader EU initiatives published in July 2021 to reinforce anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulations.
European Council’s press release can be accessed here.
Our prior blog on the EU’s move to set up its own anti-money laundering authority is here.