On 12 September 2018, we blogged that the European Commission had published an amended proposal on the amendment of the three Regulations founding the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs). The amendments seek to centralise the tasks relating to the prevention and combatting of money-laundering and terrorist financing (AML/CTF) into the European Banking Authority (EBA). The amended proposal extends the supervisory powers of the EBA related to AML/CFT from the banking sector to the financial sector as a whole, thereby taking over the supervisory powers currently held by the European Securities and Markets Authority and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority.

On 10 December 2018, the European Central Bank (ECB) published its opinion on the amended proposal. Generally, the ECB fully supports the intention behind the amended proposal – to reinforce the mandate of the EBA in the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorism financing, in order to strengthen confidence in the Banking and Capital Market Unions. The opinion also sets out specific observations on the amended proposal, these concern what information needs to be reported to the EBA and how the EBA would promote convergence of supervisory processes and risk assessments on competent authorities.

A technical working document is annexed to the opinion, this contains the ECB’s drafting proposals.