RegSol Blog


Frankfurt for AMLA

February 2024

On Friday 23rd February 2024, it was announced that the European Council and the European Parliament representatives reached an agreement on the seat of the future European authority for Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Terrorist financing (AMLA). 

In this article, RegSol compliance consultant, Laura Kilbane LCI, looks at the timeline for establishment and the knock on impact for the proposed AML Regulations highlighted in last month's newsletter. 

AMLA will be based in Frankfurt, Germany. The body will be fully operational by mid-2025 and will have over 400 staff members. This number is expected to grow to the thousands. The location of the seat will be included in the AMLA Regulation and formally adopted as part of the text.

Nine member states submitted applications to host AMLA: Belgium (Brussels), Germany (Frankfurt), Ireland (Dublin), Spain (Madrid), France (Paris), Italy (Rome), Latvia (Riga), Lithuania (Vilnius) and Austria (Vienna). Frankfurt received a majority of votes on the first round of voting and was chosen to host the agency.

What will AMLA do?

AMLA will increase the effectiveness of the anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) framework by establishing an integrated mechanism with national supervisors to ensure obliged entities comply with AML/CFT-related obligations in the financial sector, given the cross-border nature of financial crime. In addition, AMLA will coordinate member state financial intelligence units and play a supporting role in non-financial industries. 

AMLA will directly supervise certain types of credit and financial institutions, including crypto asset service providers, if they are considered high-risk or operate across borders. AMLA will select credit and financial institutions that represent the highest risk to the financial system across member states. The selected obliged entities will be supervised by joint supervisory teams led by AMLA that will carry out assessments and inspections. AMLA will supervise up to 40 groups and entities in the first selection process. Supervision will remain at a national level for all other obliged entities. 

For the non-financial sector, AMLA will have a supporting role, carrying out reviews and investigating possible breaches in the application of the AML/CFT framework. AMLA will have the power to issue non-binding recommendations. National supervisors will be able to voluntarily set up a college for a non-financial entity operating across borders if deemed needed.

What next?

The AMLA is part of a wider package of laws to reform the EUs AML/CTF Framework. The entire package has now been provisionally agreed, so this will now need to be formally adopted by the European Commission and the European Parliament, before it can enter into law. The vote is expected to be held in April.

Once adopted, the AML Regulation will apply from June 2025.

If you want to learn more about how the AML Regulation will impact your firm, RegSol are running a range of AML Training CPD sessions for staff, Directors and MLROs. See our timetable here: www.regsol.ie/cpd for next available sessions.