RegSol Blog

European Banking Authority’s New Role for 2020: Lead Watchdog on AML/CFT

February 2020

In 2019, the European legislature consolidated the AML/CFT mandates of all three European supervisory authorities within the European Banking Authority. The EBA will lead, coordinate and monitor the AML/CFT efforts of all EU financial services providers and competent authorities. 

The law implementing these powers and this mandate came into effect on 1 January 2020. The European Union (EU) in recent years has introduced a more comprehensive legal framework in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. Nevertheless, there has been a constant stream of high profile ML/TF cases involving European banks. 

These scandals, together with findings by international AML/CFT assessment bodies, point to deficiencies in some competent authorities’ approaches to their AML/CFT supervision of banks. The Danske Bank scandal involving its Estonia Branch has been described as the largest money laundering scandal in European history with over €200 billion of suspicious transactions flowing through the European Banking System. Luanda Leaks is the latest to engulf European institutions that facilitated illicit flows originating from a high profile Politically Exposed Person in Angola through to offshore jurisdictions. 

So it is in this light that the approach to combating ML and TF must change. 

And change it has with the publication on the 6th of February of its first Report on competent authorities’ approaches to AML/CFT supervision of banks available HERE 

The EBA has also opened up a public consultation on the 5th of February on revised money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF) risk factors Guidelines as part of a broader communication on AML/CFT issues. This update takes into account changes to the EU Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing

(AML/CFT) legal framework and new ML/TF risks, including those identified by the EBA’s implementation reviews. This is available HERE

By Judy de Castro - Regulatory Consultant