On 5 June 2015, the Official Journal of the European Union published the new Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing regulatory framework in Europe. This comprises a set of two legislative updates that include Directive 2015/849 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing (AMLD IV) and Regulation 2015/847 on information accompanying the transfer of funds.
The new strengthened European Anti-Money Laundering framework will contribute to the fight against terrorist financing and money laundering by helping Financial Intelligence Units from different Member States identify and follow suspicious transfers of money and facilitate the exchange of information, establishing a coherent policy towards non-EU countries that have deficient anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regimes and ensuring full traceability of funds transfers within, to and from the European Union.
Both texts fully take into account the 2012 Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force, the International standard-setter in the field, and move beyond on a number of issues to promote the highest standards for anti-money laundering and to counter terrorism financing.
This initiative has reinforced sanctioning powers and requirements facilitating co-ordination on cross-border actions via stronger and clearer requirements imposed in relation to both the collection and reporting of data by national authorities and the exchange of information and co-operation between them.
AMLD IV requires the ultimate beneficial owners of companies and trusts (and other legal arrangements) to be listed in public registers in each EU Member State. In addition, the Directive requires banks, financial institutions, auditors, lawyers, accountants, tax advisors, real estate agents and others to be more mindful of suspicious transactions carried out by their clients.
On 30 May 2018, the European Parliament announced the adoption of the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive 2018/843, the latest link in a chain of reforms targeting the elimination of money laundering and terrorist financing. Directive 2018/843 has been effective since 9 July, 2018 and Member States have been urged by the EU Council to implement it into national law ahead of the already demanding deadline imposed (10 January 2020). For more information about the key changes and impact of the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive please click here.
On 23 October 2018, the European Parliament approved the new Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing regulatory framework in Europe, Directive (EU) 2018/1673 on combating money laundering by criminal law (AMLD VI).
AMLD VI expands the scope of what constitutes a criminal offence and member states are obliged to put in place strict sanctions against persons committing such offences. Moreover, AMLD VI specifies that the acts of aiding and abetting, inciting, and attempting to commit offences, are also punishable as criminal offences.
In addition, the definition of property derived from criminal activities is extended to include assets of any kind, including electronic or digital assets (e.g., crypto-assets). As per the requirements of AMLD VI Member States were required bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with the Directive by 03 December 2020.
Financial crime, and in particular Money Laundering, is a severe offence that can lead to serious sanctions. Financial services firms need to be aware of, and mitigate, such risks. MAP S.Platis has extensive knowledge in supporting firms find solutions to Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing problems. We are committed to our goal of supporting the financial industry with expert guidance and advice on upcoming legislation and guiding our clients through these challenging tasks. Our support can include:
- Consulting and support on AML-related matters;
- Preparation of GAP Analysis reports for compliance with AMLD IV – AMLD VI;
- Delivery of training to key compliance personnel in managing Financial Crime risk;
- Monitoring and assessment of the correct and effective implementation of your practices, measures, procedures and controls, as well as drafting relevant policies tailored to your organisation’s needs;
- Review and assessment of your organisation’s client identification, due diligence procedures and information obtained from clients;
- Ensuring that your organisation maintains appropriate client records, and;
- Ad-hoc AML/ CTF health-check reports.