European Banking Federation Publishes AML Blueprint

The EBF identifies four priorities that need to be addressed, from which it has formulated 20 concrete policy recommendations detailed in the blueprint.

The EBF (European Banking Federation) has published a blueprint providing recommendations for an effective Europe-wide anti-money laundering policy.

“Combatting financial crime essentially is a real fight against real criminals that make people suffer and undermine our society,” said EBF chief Wim Mijs. “We need a European framework that prevents this and that stops crime, instead of continuing the current tick-the-box exercise.”

According to the EBF, banks are spending billions of euros on compliance, transaction monitoring, and suspicious activity report generation. Despite this, criminals are still able to exploit Europe’s regulatory fragmentation and move vast amounts of dirty money across borders undetected.

The new blueprint identifies four priorities that need to be addressed, namely:

  • to harmonise Europe’s AML framework, strengthen its risk-based nature and standardise KYC processes, leaving less room for asymmetries at the national level
  • to strengthen the institutional architecture to enable coordinated supervision and law enforcement across borders by empowering the EBA (European Banking Authority as a rule-setter
  • to enable all parties to effectively cooperate and share information, both between regulators and bank-to-bank, to enable faster detection and mitigation of financial crime risks
  • to leverage new tools and technologies to enhance the due diligence process and automate compliance tasks

Based on these four priorities, the EBF has formulated 20 concrete policy recommendations, detailed in the blueprint, available here.

“Banks really are part of the solution,” says Mijs. “We need effective cooperation between all actors in the financial ecosystem, both public and private.”

“This means exchanging more information, also across borders, and harmonising the approach at the European level. We also need to be smarter and use new technologies.”

The EBF is the voice of the European banking sector, bringing together national banking associations from across Europe.

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