European Parliament and the Council Agree on Anti-Money Laundering Authority to Actively Fight Financial Crimes

December 13, 2023

European Parliament and the Council of the EU have agreed on the establishment of an Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA) to ensure the enforcement of robust EU regulations. As a broader strategy against financial crimes like money laundering and terrorist financing, AMLA is set to monitor the EU’s updated regulatory framework for combating the flow of illicit funds, as per press release by the European Parliament.

Eva Maria Poptcheva, member of the European Parliament remarked, “We have a deal on the substantive provisions of the new Anti-money Laundering Authority. AMLA will be a game changer to crack down on dirty money in the EU.”

The current agreement doesn’t specify the seat of the future agency, and the discussion on this matter is an ongoing process, however, the seat for the agency will be selected in 2024.

How AMLA Will Crack Down on Money Laundering in the EU?

The authority will supervise high-risk financial entities, specifically those operating in at least six member states, and monitor the activities of at least one entity in each member state. Moreover, the authority will play a central role in coordinating the activities of supervisors among different EU nations, prompting consistency in supervisory practices.

Following the Parliament proposal, AMLA will be charged with the role of mediating and settling conflicts between national authorities. Additionally, the authority will assist financial intelligence units in analyzing suspicious activities and uncovering money laundering activities, notably through joint analysis and oversight of, the information-sharing IT system for Financial Intelligence Units (FIU).

Emil Radev, a member of the European Parliament working for the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria reportedly stated, “The EP gave AMLA an important and strong role in the fight against money laundering. We hope that it will guarantee more financial security and better cooperation with national supervisors and FIUs in a cross-border environment, where risks have been growing at a constant pace.”

Role of AMLA as an Enforcer

The co-legislators, considering AMLA’s role as an enforcer, have tentatively agreed on a broader strategy to combat money laundering.  Negotiators have reportedly agreed on several key aspects to standardize anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing rules, facilitating a more consistent implementation among member states.

The recent provisions involve developing channels for reporting breaches and protecting whistle-blowers, along with promoting effective collaboration between national FIUs and AMLA. The Parliament also integrated new measures to prevent the evasion of targeted financial transactions, highlighting AMLA’s role in ensuring obligated entities adhere to these sanctions.

Also read: What are the EU’s Anti-money Laundering Directives?