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Štvrtok, 8. októbra 2020 - Brusel Revidované vydanie

6. Boj proti praniu špinavých peňazí v nadväznosti na spisy FinCEN (pokračovanie rozpravy)
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  Die Präsidentin. – Wir setzen nun die Aussprache über die Erklärung der Kommission zur Bekämpfung von Geldwäsche aufgrund der FinCEN-Files (2020/2812(RSP)) fort.

 
  
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  Billy Kelleher (Renew). – Madam President, first and foremost, two trillion US dollars – that’s what was exposed in the context of the recent FinCEN files. The fact of the matter is that it’s sophisticated, it’s complex and it’s massive, and it’s on a global scale. The idea that national supervisors alone, or regulators or enforcers, can deal with this particular challenge simply is delusional

From that context, we have to insist that we have closer cooperation, that we have proper international enforcement and that we do say what we need in terms of insisting that there are prosecutions. HSBC, JP Morgan, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Standard Chartered, they’re not tinpot banks. They are massive banks that underpin the financial system across the globe, and yet they’re named in these files. We have oligarchs, we have drug dealers, we have terrorists, we have all forms of everything going through these banking systems, and yet nothing happens.

We have consistently, in this Chamber, highlighted this particular fact, but until such time as there is proper enforcement and, more importantly, underpinning of enforcement with resources, because these, as I said, are very sophisticated and complex, from that point of view, I think that the European Union, the United States and other countries have to come together on an international level to ensure that we can root out this. We can go to any capital in Europe and see quite clearly that there is dirty money washing around very close to the regulatory systems.

 
  
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  Maximilian Krah (ID). – Frau Präsidentin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Ich höre sehr viel über neue Behörden, neue Regulierungen, neue Verbote, aber ich warne auch davor, in dem Kampf gegen das eine Ziel, nämlich die Geldwäsche, die Verhältnismäßigkeit zu verlieren.

Die Deutsche Bank hat als Reaktion auf die FinCEN-Files nach eigenen Angaben eine Milliarde Euro in neue Compliance Institutionen investiert. Ich glaube nicht, dass die zum Wohlstand in Europa beitragen. Wer als mittelständischer Unternehmer heute ein neues Konto bei seiner Geschäftsbank eröffnen will, der hat sich durch einen mittleren dicken Papierstapel an Formularen zu quälen.

Es geht einfach so weit, dass wir jetzt neue Finanzpolizei, neue Meldepflichten haben wollen. Glauben Sie denn wirklich, dass diese dazu dienen, die chronische Wachstumsschwäche der Europäischen Union zu beseitigen?

Insofern kann ich nur davor warnen, immer nur mit neuen Regulierungen, neuen Verboten und neuen Behörden reagieren zu wollen. Wir müssen einfach zur Kenntnis nehmen, dass es Kriminelle gibt, und wir dürfen nicht durch den Kampf gegen diese Kriminellen einen größeren Schaden hervorrufen, als es die Geldwäsche selbst tut.

 
  
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  Kira Marie Peter-Hansen (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, I will continue this speech in Danish so that even Danske Bank can also hear me.

– Fru formand! Det er lidt sjovt at sidde fire danske kollegaer herinde i dag, men det er måske ikke så underligt, for mellem 2007 og 2015 strømmede 1 500 mistænkelige milliarder kroner igennem Danske Banks afdeling i Estland, uden at bankerne opdagede noget, og uden at finanstilsynene talte ordentligt sammen og kunne sætte ind over for det.

I forrige uge fik vi så lidt flere informationer om dette, da vi med FinCEN så, at det var en del af et organiseret netværk af kriminelle bagmænd, der bruger etablerede banker som Danske Bank til at hvidvaske enorme summer penge. Det er penge, der er forbundet til ulovlig våbenhandel, narkokarteller og terrorisme; og det er penge, som ville have været langt bedre brugt på den klimalov, vi vedtog i dag, eller på velfærd ude i medlemslandene.

Nu venter vi jo så spændt på at høre, hvordan Kommissionens hvidvaskmyndighed kommer til at se ud. Det er vist overflødigt at sige, at den bliver nødt til at levere, og at det skal være så stærkt som overhovedet muligt.

FinCEN-filerne viste også, at 1/5 af alle aktiviteter strømmede igennem Caymanøerne, og som min kollega fra Enhedslisten sagde, valgte man alligevel at fjerne Caymanøerne fra skattelylisten. Det er ikke godt nok. Det er lige så absurd, som det lyder, og EU’s finansminister bliver nødt til at revidere listen. I den grønne gruppe kommer vi til at presse på for en stærk hvidvaskmyndighed og en stærk skattelyliste, og vi glæder os til samarbejdet.

 
  
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  Emmanuel Maurel (GUE/NGL). – Madame la présidente, alors les scandales financiers se succèdent, avec leur cortège de transactions opaques, de pratiques immorales illégales avec des sommes astronomiques inimaginable pour le commun des mortels, et là on en a un nouvel exemple. Et je me demande dans quelle société on vit quand de telles pratiques sont accueillie avec des haussements d’épaules ou de la résignation de la part des dirigeants européens.

Alors évidemment il faut dire notre colère parce que les finCEN files révèlent des transactions criminelles depuis 1999. Il y a eu des directives, qui manifestement, n’ont pas été suivies d’effet. D’autant plus que là on a des banques qui ont pignon sur rue. La Deutsche Bank 62 % des transactions frauduleuses, sur les 2000 milliards. HSBC qui avait fait des promesses sur la lutte anti-blanchiment est mouillé jusqu’au cou.

Donc il ne faut pas simplement s’indigner, mais il faut aussi agir, en transformant les directives anti-blanchiment en règlements. Parce qu’on voit bien qu’il y a une défaillance des régulateurs nationaux. Il faut prendre des sanctions contre les coupables. Je pense qu’il faut, comme le demandait le Parlement européen en 2019 placer un régulateur européen vraiment doté de vrais moyens humains au-dessus des régulateurs nationaux.

 
  
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  Evelyn Regner (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin! Schon wieder ein neuer Finanzskandal. So langsam verlieren wir den Überblick.

Damit wir diesem ganzen Geldwäsche-Finanzsteuer-Skandal endlich den Garaus machen können, brauchen wir trotz der Liberalisierungswelle zwei Dinge: zentralisierte starke Kontrollen und starke einheitliche Regulierungen.

Denn dass die Geldwäschetransaktionen überhaupt stattfinden können, liegt unter anderem daran, dass die Banken ja selbst entscheiden, welche Geldüberweisungen sie für verdächtig halten und welche nicht. Tatsächlich müssen Banken die Überweisungen, die sie selbst für verdächtig halten, ja nicht einmal stoppen. Die FinCEN-Files haben auch gezeigt, dass die Verdachtsmeldungen häufig so spät abgegeben werden, dass die Strafverfolgungsbehörden letztlich ja gar nicht wirklich was tun können, denn 166 Tage waren der Durchschnitt. 166 Tage – da ist das Geld schon weg.

Deshalb brauchen wir starke Aufsichtsbehörden, am besten ein europäisches FBI, gut geschultes Personal in den nationalen Banken selbst und eine Harmonisierung der nationalen Anti-Geldwäsche-Gesetze.

 
  
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  Luis Garicano (Renew). – Madam President, again one more scandal, again I have to hear my colleagues on both sides of the aisle complaining, and again we see that nothing happens in the fight against money laundering.

I think that the key to the answer is that Europe needs to be more confident in this fight. We have shown that we can be regulatory leaders. We have put the GDPR standard, and some people would have been afraid that, with this standard, Facebook or some others would not operate in Europe. The fact of the matter is that, whatever the threats, they cannot afford not to operate in Europe.

This is similar. If we say to world companies, to companies based abroad, you can’t operate here unless we know who is your owner, if we rule out beneficial ownership, it is not going to be the case that people are going to renounce a 400 million market. They are going to want to be here, they are going to want to serve European citizens. So if we are confident and we set out the regulatory standards for transparency, for disclosure, for this beneficial ownership, it is going to be the case that companies will have to comply.

What are the main things we need to change in the way this fight is going? I think we need three things. We need transparency, as I was saying, particularly no opaque companies – we need to know who is behind every account. We need a European financial intelligence unit – we need to know what is going on, and that requires police work. And we need a single supervisory authority that is able to centralise and doesn’t succumb to the economic nationalism that we are always seeing, with each authority protecting their own banks and their own transactions, and each authority happy to receive money from abroad.

So this is the moment to show that Europe is confident. I have heard all my colleagues speak and I have taken close note. I think that we all see things in a very similar way. We need to really change the way we are doing things. We need a confident Europe that leads in this fight.

 
  
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  Ernest Urtasun (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, we are again facing a major scandal –EUR 2 trillion that has gone in money laundering and the big institutions like Deutsche Bank are really affected. But what strikes me is that OK, we have the information, it’s a new investigation – for which we have to thank the journalists – but now we need to act and here is where we really meet a problem at the European level: we have to do much more.

There are three things to mention to the Commissioner that I think are extremely urgent:

Firstly, as many of my colleagues have said before, we need these intelligence units to fight money laundering and to fight financial crime. It’s not in the action plan, but we need it and I think that this Parliament is united behind that idea.

Secondly, as Mr Sven Giegold has mentioned before, when we have a serious problem at Member State level of enforcing our framework against money laundering, we need infringement procedures, and it would be good, Commissioner, for you to tell us when you will start doing that.

Finally, and I will end here, I think it is a real shame that the Council has taken the Cayman Islands out of the tax haven list this week. This is something that our citizens cannot understand.

 
  
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  Franco Roberti (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, i fascicoli FinCEN mostrano ancora una volta il fallimento delle regole antiriciclaggio di fronte alle condotte favoreggiatrici di banche e operatori finanziari, che continuano a trarre profitto dal crimine.

La normativa europea antiriciclaggio non viene attuata sufficientemente in troppi paesi dell'Unione: ciò è tanto più grave e inaccettabile nel momento in cui la catastrofe economica indotta dalla pandemia sta aprendo enormi spazi di operatività alle organizzazioni criminali.

Serve certamente un sistema unitario, serve certamente un'agenzia europea antiriciclaggio, come è stato sottolineato anche dalla Commissione fin dalla passata legislatura, ma soprattutto, se il riciclaggio è l'essenza della criminalità organizzata, occorre una strategia europea unitaria che punti alla disarticolazione delle organizzazioni criminali transnazionali e dei loro complici esterni, attraverso una piena cooperazione investigativa e giudiziaria.

A questo scopo avevo chiesto, finora inutilmente nella totale indifferenza di tutti i gruppi politici, l'istituzione di una commissione speciale del Parlamento europeo contro la criminalità organizzata, il terrorismo e la corruzione, sempre più intrecciati tra loro, che sono una crescente minaccia per lo Stato di diritto nei paesi dell'Unione.

Dopo l'istituzione di cinque commissioni speciali mi auguro che nel prossimo futuro maturi la volontà politica di dare priorità a questo tema, se vogliamo difendere lo Stato di diritto e l'economia reale dall'assalto dei poteri criminali.

 
  
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  Henrike Hahn (Verts/ALE). – Frau Präsidentin, sehr geehrte Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Bei den FinCEN-Files können wir sehen, wie löchrig und fehlerhaft unser System ist, wenn es um die Abwehr von Geldwäsche geht. Wir sehen Enthüllungen über kriminelle Aktivitäten international operierender Banken, die Geldwäsche betreiben – mit der Mafia, mit Terrorhelfern, mit Drogenbossen –, und mittendrin in diesem Vorgang sind die Deutsche Bank und die Commerzbank.

Kriminelle machen sich hier zunutze, dass staatliche Aufsicht – die ja eigentlich per se dafür geschaffen wurde, um solche Skandale abzuwenden – nicht funktioniert. Banken haben offensichtlich auch nach der Finanzkrise kein Problem mit ihrem Verhalten, und politische Maßnahmen werden durch die vielen Schlupflöcher bedeutungslos.

Und deshalb brauchen wir von den EU-Mitgliedstaaten ein klares Ja zu einer zentralen europäischen Behörde gegen Geldwäsche – ein klares Ja, das jetzt passieren muss und nicht noch viele Jahre dauern darf. Und wir brauchen ein klares Ja zur Umsetzung von bestehenden Vorschriften mit einem Rechtsrahmen, der in der EU harmonisch umgesetzt wird, ohne Ausreißer, die lieber ein Vertragsverletzungsverfahren abwarten und riskieren als etwas zu tun. Nur eine gemeinsame, bessere Koordination in Europa kann an diesem unethischen Filz etwas ändern – und da müssen wir jetzt etwas tun.

 
  
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  Dubravka Šuica, Vice-President of the Commission. – Madam President, I thank the honourable Members for all their comments and I definitely take note of all they have said. What I heard today confirms the Commission’s resolve to act swiftly and address the shortcomings of the Union’s anti-money laundering legal framework.

There were some questions which I would like to answer, especially from Mr Giegold and Mr Urtasun. You were asking about cases where we have sent formal letters to Member States, and these are publically known. The Commission has opened infringement procedures against Member States that failed to notify transposition of the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive against Cyprus, Hungary, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.

In parallel, we are continuing to check those Member States that have fully and correctly transposed the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive. I cannot disclose here to which Member States we have sent informal letters. However, rest assured, that over the course of the next years, we will address all Member States.

Let me stress again, the enforcement and effective implementation of the existing rules remain a top priority for the Commission. We are also stepping up practical work to help national authorities detect money laundering. For example, the interconnection of beneficial ownership – ownership registers – should be operational in 2021. A similar interconnection between bank account registers is also part of our action plan, as it will speed up cross—border access to bank account information.

However, criminals are highly adaptive and their methods are constantly evolving. The FinCEN revelations clearly illustrate the ongoing challenges that the main actors face in their efforts to detect illegal financial flows and prevent criminals from using the financial system to launder dirty money. Our framework must therefore continuously evolve in order to keep pace with technological developments and the growing sophistication of financial crime.

We are up to the challenge. In the first quarter of 2021, we will propose an ambitious anti-money laundering package in order to further strengthen the capacity to fight money laundering and protect the integrity of the financial system. In a single market, we can no longer afford to work in silos. We need to build bridges between anti-money laundering supervisors and financial intelligence units. For this, we need not only a stronger regulatory framework but also strong European Union level structures to ensure its implementation.

I wanted to be fair to those who mentioned the Cayman Islands. I wanted to clarify. There are two lists: one list is anti-money laundering and the other is fiscal cooperation tax. So some Members were mixing this up, but okay. Some Members were speaking about tax non-cooperative jurisdiction, but of course we have to deal with this too.

Thank you for this debate. The Commission and my colleague Valdis Dombrovskis, who was not able to attend this meeting today, we look forward to continuing to work with you on these crucial issues in order to further strengthen the integrity of the financial system and to ensure that dirty money finds no place to hide in the European Union. Thank you once again for this fruitful debate.

 
  
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  Sven Giegold (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, I have to say I am appalled by that response and I ask you, President, to hold the Commission...

(The President cut off the speaker)

 
  
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  Die Präsidentin. – Herr Giegold! Ein Geschäftsordnungsantrag, gerne, ansonsten können wir die Debatte hier nicht … Ja, dann begründen Sie den Geschäftsordnungsantrag, aber geben Sie kein Statement ab!

 
  
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  President. – I think the Commission heard the question and will find a way to respond to that, but not now here in a public debate. I’m sorry. This was not really something on the agenda.

 
  
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  Die Präsidentin. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 171)

 
  
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  Caterina Chinnici (S&D), per iscritto. – Le pubblicazioni dei fascicoli FinCEN, che rivelano segnalazioni di attività sospette provenienti anche da istituti bancari europei all'agenzia antiriciclaggio degli Stati Uniti, per un totale di 2 099 miliardi di dollari nel periodo 2000-2017, dimostrano, nonostante le norme adottate, ancora una volta le lacune legislative dell'ordinamento europeo nella lotta al riciclaggio e la facilità con cui i profitti illeciti ottenuti dalle organizzazioni criminali vengano riciclati in Europa e nel mondo. Nella sessione Plenaria di luglio, avevamo accolto con favore la comunicazione della Commissione relativa ad un piano d'azione per aggiornare la quarta e la quinta direttiva antiriciclaggio. Vorrei ribadire con forza la necessità e l'urgenza di istituire un corpus normativo unico a livello comunitario, anche trasponendo le disposizioni della direttiva antiriciclaggio in un regolamento; creare un'autorità di vigilanza AML/CFT europea e un meccanismo di sostegno e coordinamento per le FIU; assicurare cooperazione e scambio informativo efficaci tra queste e le autorità di contrasto. Regole più stringenti sui movimenti di denaro sospetti, maggiore trasparenza da parte di tutti gli operatori finanziari e un'attività investigativa coordinata fra gli Stati membri, possono bloccare il riciclaggio di denaro da parte delle organizzazioni criminali garantendo sicurezza per i cittadini e una sana concorrenza fra le imprese.

 
  
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  Nicolás González Casares (S&D), por escrito. – El escándalo de los archivos de FinCEN revelados por una investigación realizada por el Consorcio Internacional de Periodistas de Investigación evidenció una vez más que hay muchas lagunas en la legislación y supervisión europeas en la lucha contra el lavado de dinero.

Hace tiempo que el Grupo S&D está a la vanguardia en el impulso de un marco europeo en la lucha contra el blanqueo de capitales y la financiación del terrorismo. Las revelaciones FinCen vienen a dar la razón a nuestras demandas. Pedimos ahora, más que nunca, que la legislación vigente vaya más allá de la existente, que es claramente insuficiente para prevenir y combatir la actividad delictiva que es cada vez más compleja y transfronteriza.

Por lo tanto, apoyamos el cambio a una legislación de la UE que establezca estándares que superen los mínimos actuales para asegurar un conjunto de normas más prescriptivo, que sea efectivamente aplicado por los Estados miembros y que evite y penalice los malos comportamientos de las instituciones financieras.

 
  
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  Lídia Pereira (PPE), por escrito. – O combate ao branqueamento de capitais tem de ser uma prioridade da União Europeia. Os sucessivos escândalos e revelações, aos quais se soma o caso dos ficheiros FinCEN, são prova de que os Estados-Membros não estão a conseguir, por si, erradicar este crime que, para além de corrupção, está na origem do financiamento de organizações criminosas e terroristas. Entre as várias instituições citadas, há bancos europeus que terão movimentado milhares de milhões com origens suspeitas durante 17 anos.

Precisamos, por isso, de maior integração europeia nesta matéria. No imediato, precisamos que os Estados-Membros transponham e, sobretudo, implementem, com urgência e corretamente, as Diretivas europeias sobre branqueamento de capitais, sobretudo a quarta e a quinta.

A comunicação da Comissão de Maio sobre a matéria tem de ser consequente e este Parlamento deve estar pronto a responder com ambição. Perante a evidência de atividade criminosa, as instituições bancárias não podem consentir a continuidade de transações financeiras. Temos de avançar com regras vinculativas no campo da regulação. Assim, apelo à Comissão que apresente uma proposta de Regulamento nesse sentido.

A prazo precisamos, também, de discutir a criação de uma autoridade europeia de supervisão e coordenação das estruturas nacionais de combate a este crime.

 
Posledná úprava: 8. decembra 2020Právne upozornenie - Politika ochrany súkromia