EBA given sweeping new powers to tackle money laundering abuses at EU banks

EBA given sweeping new powers to tackle money laundering abuses at EU banks

The European Commission is proposing to hand the European Banking Authority sweeping new powers to crack down on money laundering following a spate of scandals at a number of major banks.

introducing the proposals, President Jean-Claude Juncker says recent cases involving money laundering in some EU banks have raised concerns that AML rules are not always supervised and enforced effectively across the EU.

"This not only creates risks for the integrity and reputation of the European financial sector, but may also have financial stability implications for specific banks."

The move comes in the wake of a series of AML failures at ING, Deutsche Bank and Danske Bank.

Commissioner for justice, gender equality and consumers, Vĕra Jourová, says: "Europe has the strongest anti-money laundering rules in the world. But recent cases in the banking sector showed that they are not always supervised and enforced with the same high standards everywhere across the EU. Our system is as strong as our weakest link. In times where money moves across borders at the click of a mouse, we must ensure supervision that is pro-active and fast. Today's changes will make sure the rules are evenly enforced throughout the EU.”

Under the proposals, the European Banking Authority will be given powers to make sure that different supervisors cooperate and exchange information and that anti-money laundering rules are enforced effectively across EU countries. The EBA will also be entitled to request investigation into alleged breaches of the rules and will become "Europe's phone number" for cooperation with international bodies on issues related to combatting money laundering in the financial sector.

The Commission is also inviting the European Central Bank to draw up a multilateral memorandum of understanding on exchange of information by national supervisory authorities by 10 January 2019.

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