Closing Gaps in Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive

The European Union’s (EU) Fifth Anti-Money Laundering (AMLD5) became binding recently on Monday, July 9 and even after two years of reforming the anti-money laundering (AML) provisions and regulations, the new directive still faces weaknesses and limitations in preventing illicit activity involving digital payments and virtual currencies.

Specifically, recent banking schemes in Latvia, Estonia, and Malta raised attention to faults in the new revision due to the lack of cooperation on the part of national “financial intelligence units.”  AMLD5 requires states to configure centralized bank account registers but, because of weak oversight, criminals are managing to continue their illegal cross border money transfers.

The European Central Bank (ECB) needs to improve AML due diligence and oversight prior to inputting new reforms.  Two-thirds of the EU governments have not adapted to the previous AML directive despite it being enabled in 2015.


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