On 24 July 2019, the European Commission adopted a Communication and four reports that are intended to support European and Member State competent authorities in better addressing money laundering and terrorist financing (ML / TF) risks.
The Communication, Towards a better implementation of the EU’s anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism framework, provides an overview of four reports that the Commission has published:
- the supranational risk assessment report. The report shows that most of the recommendations of the first supranational risk assessment have been implemented although some vulnerabilities remain including the identification of beneficial owners. The Commission also calls on Member States to fully transpose the fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (4MLD) where they have not done so. Under the 4MLD, the Commission has to issue a supranational risk assessment report every two years. The next report will therefore be released in 2021 and will assess progress made on the recommendations;
- assessment and lessons from recent money laundering cases. The Commission has analysed ten recent publicly known cases of money laundering in EU banks to provide an analysis of some of the current shortcomings and outlines a possible way forward;
- the need for reinforced cooperation between Financial Intelligence Units (FIU). This report provides certain suggestions to improve cooperation between EU FIUs; and
- interconnection of central bank account registries. This report sets out a number of elements to be considered for a possible interconnection of bank account registries and data retrieval systems. The Commission suggests that such a system could be a decentralised system with a common platform at EU level. To achieve the interconnection, legislative action would be required, following consultation with Member States’ governments, financial intelligence units, law enforcement authorities and asset recovery offices.