EU sharpens money laundering fight

EU sharpens money laundering fight

A deal has been struck between the European parliament and the EU Council ofMinisters over the final shape of reforms to the European money launderingdirective.

The agreement was given political impetus by the attacks in the US and the need for improved legislation to help pinpoint terrorist-tainted funds.

Consensus on the final text was reached in a conciliation committee linking MEPs and EU ministers, and although it needs formal approval from both the council and parliament, this process is assumed to be a formality.

The new directive will oblige member states to combat laundering of the proceeds of all serious crime, including fraud against the EU budget,whereas the current law applied only to money linked to drug offences.

The changes also extend the coverage of the current directive’s requirementson client identification, record keeping and reporting of suspicioustransactions from the financial sector to a number of vulnerablenon-financial businesses and professions.

It should now be extended to external accountants and auditors, real estate agents, notaries, lawyers, dealers in high value goods such as precious stones and metals or works of art, auctioneers, transporters of funds and casinos.

Meanwhile, the Financial Action Task Force, the organisation set up to tackle money laundering across the globe, will hold an emergency meeting in Washington next week to strengthen its own fight againts terrorist funding.

Among the measures under discussion are proposals requiring financial institutions to file reports on all funds suspected of being harboured for terrorist groups, the registration of informal money agents and more detailed reporting of international wire transfers, according to a report in today’s FT.

Links

Minister outlines financial war on terror

Terror war to target launderers

FATF ready for expanded campaign

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