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EU money laundering rules progress 21/04/2015 New EU rules aimed at preventing money laundering and terrorist financing were approved by the Council of Ministers this week

EU money laundering rules progress

New EU rules aimed at preventing money laundering and terrorist financing were approved by the Council of Ministers this week. They will now go forward for adoption by the European Parliament.

In general terms, the new Directive and Regulation will strengthen EU rules against money laundering and ensure consistency with the approach followed at international level. They also reflect the need for the EU to adapt its legislation to take account of the development of technology and other means at the disposal of criminals. 

The main elements are:

  • Extension of the Directive's scope, introducing requirements for a greater number of traders. This is achieved by reducing from €15,000 to €10,000 the cash payment threshold for the inclusion of traders in goods, and by also including providers of gambling services;
  • Application of a risk-based approach, using evidence-based decision making, to better target risks; 
  • Tighter rules on customer due diligence. Obliged entities such as banks are required to take enhanced measures where the risks are greater, and can take simplified measures where risks are demonstrated to be smaller;  
  • Provisions relating to the beneficial ownership of companies, ensuring that this information will be stored in a central register, accessible to competent authorities, financial intelligence units and, as part of customer due diligence, obliged entities such as banks; and 
  • Provisions relating to the traceability of fund transfers. While existing legislation already requires payment service providers to accompany transfers of funds with information on the payer, the new rules will also require information on the payee to be included.
 
 

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