EU May Create New Watchdog To Combat Money Laundering
the European Union authorities are considering possibility of creating a new regulatory body that would supervise European banks’ compliance with standards in the field of detection and prevention of cases of money laundering.
EU finance ministers may recommend creating such a structure following the December meeting, writes the Financial Times. “Criminals and terrorists exploit holes in legislation and undermine confidence in our financial system and our mission to protect their economies and citizens,” said French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire in an interview with the Financial Times.
The official believes that it is necessary to harmonize anti-money laundering laws « and strengthen supervision over this area » in all EU countries.
France and the Netherlands are in favor of creating a new oversight body, but recognize that this can take a very long time. Alternatives would be to grant new powers to the European Banking Authority (EBA).
At the same time, members of the European Parliament have repeatedly criticized the EBA for not sufficiently harsh reaction to a number of scandals that erupted in Europe in the past two years. The scandals involved suspicious transactions through major banks such as Danske Bank, ING Group, Deutsche Bank and Swedbank. The amount of such operations totalled hundreds of billions of dollars.