Proposal for a Regulation establishing the Authority for Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2021) 421
Publication Date 20/07/2021
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Legislative initiative tabled by the European Commission on 20 July 2021, aimed at establishing an Authority for Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism - EU AML Authority (AMLA). This is a text with EEA relevance.

Further information:

In July 2019, the European Commission unveiled a Communication aimed at informing European and national authorities on how to better address money laundering and terrorist financing risks. As a follow-up, the Commission published in May 2020 an Action Plan setting out a common comprehensive framework on preventing money laundering and terrorism financing. This draft law delivers on some of the pillars structuring that framework.

The creation of this Authority aims to transform action against money laundering and terrorism financing, and also to enhance cooperation among Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs). The proposed AMLA is to become the central authority coordinating national authorities to ensure the private sector correctly and consistently rules across the European Union (EU). It is also to improve FIUs analytical capacity around illicit flows and make financial intelligence a key source for law enforcement agencies. The draft law also aims to amend Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010, Regulation (EU) 1094/2010 and Regulation (EU) 1095/2010.

The main focus of AMLA are as follows:

  • Establish a single integrated system of AML/CFT supervision across the EU, based on common supervisory methods and convergence of high supervisory standards;
  • Directly supervise some of the riskiest financial institutions that operate in a large number of Member States or require immediate action to address imminent risks;
  • Monitor and coordinate national supervisors responsible for other financial entities, as well as coordinate supervisors of non-financial entities;
  • Support cooperation among national FIUs and facilitate coordination and joint analyses between them, to better detect illicit financial flows of a cross-border nature.

This initiative was tabled by the European Commission on 20 July 2021, as part of a legislative package focusing on anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT).

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Commentary and Analysis
ICIJ: FinCEN Files Investigation, 16/07/2021: EU to propose watchdog to tackle anti-money laundering failures exposed by FinCEN Files
Deloitte: Banking Alert, July 2021: EU plans to strip the EBA of all its money-laundering duties
Transparency International: Press Release, 20/07/2021: Proposal to create EU Agency to supervise banks is a major step towards ending decades-long abuse

The Irish Times, 07/07/2021: EU plans new agency to fight money laundering
Politico, 07/07/2021: EU to bypass banking agency with new dirty-money watchdog
EurActiv, 08/07/2021: EU to propose Anti-Money Laundering Authority
EUObserver, 08/07/2021: EU to create anti-money laundering agency
RTÉ News, 20/07/2021: EU to set up anti money-laundering agency
Euronews, 20/07/2021: Brussels wants a new EU agency to tackle money laundering

EUR-LEX: SWD(2021)190: Staff Working Document accompanying the Proposal - Impact Assessment
EUR-LEX: SWD(2021)191: Staff Working Document accompanying the Proposal - Executive Summary of the Impact Assessment
European Commission: Press Release, 20/07/2021: Beating financial crime: Commission overhauls anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism rules
European Commission: Questions and Answers: Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) (20 July 2021)
EPP Group: Newsroom, 20/07/2021: Anti-Money Laundering: don't create new conflicts of competences

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