Harmonise, cooperate, empower and be smarter – EBF publishes EU anti-money laundering recommendations

As the European Commission is preparing a more effective European Union framework for fighting money laundering, the European Banking Federation (EBF) presented the banking sector’s recommendations for the EU’s anti-money laundering policy.

The EBF’s blueprint for the EU’s anti-money laundering policy is based on assessment of how financial crime can be fought in more effective ways in the EU. It identifies four priority areas that need to be addressed. In concrete terms, the EBF suggests to:

  • Harmonise the EU AML/CFT framework and strengthen its risk-based nature
  • Empower EU supervision and law enforcement by strengthening the institutional architecture and the framework for public-private collaboration
  • Enable all interested parties to effectively cooperate and share information
  • Leverage new tools and technologies.

As gatekeepers of the financial system, banks are expected to stop criminals that are abusing the financial system to launder illicit funds. Banks are spending billions on compliance, on monitoring transactions and on generating mountains of suspicious activity reports. Yet the current framework is not very effective and suffers from the regulatory fragmentation in Europe.

Financial crime is a complex issue that requires detailed analysis and assessment. The EBF blueprint wants to present some of the main issues for the financial sector and to contribute to a meaningful discussion on the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing. The EBF looks forward to constructively engaging with EU policymakers and other stakeholders in the coming years.

The four priorities identified in the EBF blueprint have generated a total of twenty concrete policy recommendations. These are available for reading in the EBF publication Lifting the Spell of Dirty Money. A short summary is also available in the EBF press release.