The European Union will propose a new agency to fight money laundering and new transparency rules for crypto-asset transfers, according to EU documents released Wednesday, in response to calls for stricter action to fight black money.
Europe has come under pressure to step up the implementation of anti-money laundering rules after several countries began investigating Danske Bank for suspicious transactions worth 200 billion euros that passed through its small Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015.
Lacking an EU-level authority to stop dirty money, Brussels has relied on national regulatory bodies to enforce its rules, but they have not always fully cooperated.
“Money laundering, terrorist financing and organized crime remain major issues that need to be addressed at the Union level,” the documents seen by Reuters said.
The European Commission, the executive body of the EU, proposes the creation of a new Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA) that will become the “centerpiece” of an integrated supervisory system also made up of national authorities, according to documents.
EU regulations on the fight against money laundering will be directly binding on Member States, in order to prevent criminals from taking advantage of differences between national laws, according to the documents.
Another proposal would introduce new EU requirements for crypto asset service providers to collect and make accessible data regarding the senders and beneficiaries of transfers in those assets.
Transfers of these virtual assets are not currently covered outside the scope of the EU rules on financial services.
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