EBA Issues Guidance on Role of AML Compliance Officers

Where a financial services firm is part of a group, the guidelines provide that a group AML/CFT compliance officer be appointed at the parent company level.

The EBA (European Banking Authority) has launched a consultation on the role, tasks and responsibilities of AML/CTF compliance officers.

Once adopted, the guidelines will apply to all financial sector operators that are within the scope of the AML Directive.

The draft guidelines comprehensively address, for the first time at the level of the EU, the whole AML/CFT governance set-up.

They set clear expectations of the role, tasks and responsibilities of the AML/CFT compliance officer and the management body and how they interact, including at group level.

AML/CFT compliance officers need to have a sufficient level of seniority, which entails the powers to propose, on their own initiative, all necessary or appropriate measures to ensure the compliance and effectiveness of the internal AML/CFT measures to the management body in its supervisory and management function.

The draft guidelines also specify the tasks and role of board members and senior managers in charge of AML/CFT, as well as those serving as group AML/CFT compliance officers.

To ensure the information reaching the management body is sufficiently comprehensive to enable informed decision-making, the draft guidelines set out what information should be at least included in AML/CFT compliance officers’ activity reports.

Where a financial services operator is part of a group, the draft guidelines provide that a group AML/CFT compliance officer in the parent company should be appointed to ensure the establishment and implementation of effective group-wide AML/CFT policies and procedures, and to ensure that any shortcomings in the AML/CFT framework affecting the entire group or a large part of the group are addressed effectively.

The consultation, available here, is open for comment until 2 November 2021.

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