Home / Financial Services/ EU plan on bank money laundering pushes back action to next year

EU plan on bank money laundering pushes back action to next year

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Monday, 10 September 2018 00:21


BRUSSELS (Reuters): European Union regulators have drawn up a preliminary plan for a possible tightening of rules against money laundering after a series of high-level cases at the bloc’s banks, but do not envisage quick measures.

The plan, prepared by a group of experts set up by the European Commission, acknowledges that “there may be gaps in the EU’s supervisory framework” to counter money laundering, but pushes back any meaningful action to late next year or beyond.

The confidential document, dated 31 August, was prepared after suspected cases of money laundering at banks in Malta, Latvia, Estonia and Denmark, and just before Dutch giant ING agreed to pay a fine this week for failing to prevent money laundering.

Currently, EU states are free to apply common rules against money laundering in different manners, a situation that has led to poor supervision in some cases.

“The report is proof that money laundering supervision does not work in the banking union,” Sven Giegold, a member of the European Parliament who sits on the Economic Affairs Committee and on the Special Committee on Financial Crimes, said.

“The Commission has no excuse any more to kick the dirty can along the road. It must swiftly propose legislative changes,” said Giegold. He was not involved in drafting the plan.

However, the urgency to address the situation signalled by EU regulators in several statements in past months appears not to translate into fast action.

Despite earlier pledges of new measures by the end of the year, the preliminary plan foresees that most actions could be undertaken by mid-2019 or the end of 2019.

Proposed measures include new guidelines on how to address money laundering at banks and more cooperation among the several EU and national agencies that are responsible for countering financial crime and supervising banks.

The plan recommends that more powers should be given to the European Banking Authority, the EU body that regulates the sector – although the report acknowledges that the agency lacks staff to carry out this additional task and is in the process of moving its headquarters from London to Paris after Britain’s vote to leave the EU.

No date is set for more ambitious measures, such as the establishment of a single EU supervisor against money-laundering, which would allow a centralised supervision similar to that exercised by the European Central Bank over euro zone banks’ financial stability.

“The Commission may examine this option by June 2019,” the report says. European Parliament elections and the subsequent appointment of a new Commission are scheduled for May.

The report also does not indicate a date for the possible introduction of clearer and standardised legislation across the 28 EU countries to tackle financial crime.


Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

No more stones to break Sri Lankan bones

Friday, 19 April 2019

Trial by fire is not a new ordeal to Christian community. It predates Notre Dame and Nazism by millennia. In fact, a decade or so before Nero torched believers to light Roman avenues, Jewish religious leaders put Jesus-followers to the test as the Ch

Wounding the social psyche

Friday, 19 April 2019

In this article, I intend to discuss the serious wounds inflicted on the psyche of Sri Lankan society, which have not received adequate attention, but need immediate cure, for they might develop into a dangerous cancer if not treated without further

What 5G could be to Game of Thrones (and vice versa)

Friday, 19 April 2019

We will be hearing a lot about these two seemingly unrelated topics this month. In a hurriedly but meticulously organised event, Dialog Axiata recently demonstrated 5G applications for the first time in South Asia. 5G will be commercially available

On time – Only for a week! A must-change!

Thursday, 18 April 2019

We are in April and the month where we witness the declaration of a new year as per our traditional practice. It is that period of time when a huge majority of our population, which certainly can be counted in millions, intends to act in unison and q

Columnists More