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  • According to Europol, as much as 0.7-1.28 % of the Union’s annual GDP is “detected as being involved in suspect financial activity”

  • Commission has initiated infringement procedures against the majority of Member States for having failed to properly implement anti-money laundering rules

  • MEPs call for better cooperation between the administrative, judicial and law enforcement authorities within the EU

Anti-money laundering rules need coordinated and speedy implementation, MEPs said in a resolution adopted on Thursday with 530 votes to 14 and 104 abstentions.

MEPs stress that the date of transposition of the fourth anti-money laundering directive (4 AMLD) was June 2017 and 5AMLD is January 2020 and urge the member states to implement the already agreed anti-money laundering rules in national law.

MEPs see the lack of cooperation and poor information-sharing between national authorities and Financial Intelligence Units as the main obstacles to preventing money-laundering, criminal financing and terrorist financing in all member states.

They suggest that ‘minimum standards’ legislation on AML/CTF (countering terrorist financing) may be the root cause of the poor implementation and call on the Commission to assess, for any future revision of the AML legislation, whether a regulation would be a more appropriate legal act than a directive;

MEPs underline that core responsibility for implementation lies with national authorities and urge that their adequate power and staffing should be considered a priority for ongoing checks. They also welcome the increase in the European Banking Authority’s resources, the anti-money laundering watchdog.

MEPs reminded that the beneficial ownership registers for corporate and other legal entities should be ready by 10 January 2020 and for trusts and similar legal arrangements by 10 March 2020 and urged the member states to accelerate the work.

They support the establishment a new methodology to identify high-risk third countries with strategic deficiencies as regards AML and call on the Commission to apply a transparent process with clear and concrete benchmarks for these countries and ensure public scrutiny.