On 19 September 2019, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) passed a resolution calling for anti-money laundering (AML) rules to be better coordinated and implemented in a timely manner. The resolution was adopted with 530 votes to 14 and 104 abstentions.

The date of transposition of the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive was June 2017, and the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive is to be implemented by January 2020. As the deadline approaches, MEPs urge Member States to implement the already agreed AML rules into national law, including accelerating preparations on meeting deadlines for the beneficial ownership registers for corporate and other legal entities, and for trusts and similar legal arrangements by 10 January 2020 and 10 March 2020 respectively.

MEPs suggest that ‘minimum standards’ legislation on AML and counter terrorist financing may be the barrier to implementing the legislation speedily and call on the European Commission to assess whether a Regulation would be more appropriate in this instance than a Directive.

The adopted resolution also supports the establishment of a new methodology to identify high-risk third countries with strategic deficiencies as regards AML and call on the Commission to apply a transparent process with clear and concrete benchmarks for these countries and ensure public scrutiny.