AML Compliance Gets Serious In the EU

The European Union is becoming more strict about enforcement of anti-money laundering (AML) laws and regulations utilizing its new directive (AMLD4) to manage risks of money laundering, crime organizations, and terrorism especially in areas of high vulnerability such as crowdfunding platforms, virtual currencies, online gaming, real estate and nonprofit organizations.  AMLD4 aims to bring more cohesion and uniformity within member-states by making it more difficult for criminals and terrorists to hide assets behind complex corporate structures or shell companies and easier for authorities to track suspicious cross-border transactions.

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has also issued an update for the multi-billion € gambling market indicating that ID-checks on customer wages exceeding €2000 is highly encouraged and failure of the stakeholders to implement the ID-checks would be breaching conditions of UK licensing.  Furthermore, higher due diligence requirements for banks, lawyers and accountants are also being put in place.

The AMLD4 created in 2015 is a key business/commercial requirement for the EU member-states and should have been fully implemented on June 26, 2017, however, 17 EU countries have failed to put the new rules into place on time, despite having two years to do so.  The EU justice commissioner, Vera Jourova, believes this to be unacceptable and has initiated the legal proceedings to take the non-compliant national governments to the European Court of Justice in order to “fix this.”

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