The EU may set up a new anti-money laundering authority

Several huge money laundering scandals have swept across Europe over the past year. Now, the European Commission may get the power to set up an anti-money laundering (AML) body to deal with the problem.

Finance ministers across the trading block are reportedly gearing up to recommend a new independent body to deal with money laundering.

They will also recommended that the new AML authority would be granted direct powers to enforce the law, according to a draft statement seen by the Financial Times.

The new central body would police financial services organisations to ensure they are complying with the EU’s due diligence and AML safeguards.

The news comes after a string of money laundering scandals have shaken the trust in financial institutions across the trading block.

Last year, US authorities uncovered a massive amount of funds being funnelled through the now defunct Latvian bank ABLV.

Moreover, it has been revealed that 200m ($220m) worth of suspicious money transactions were being made by Danish Danske Bank in a money laundering scandal that has had also affected Deutsche Bank and Swedbank.

“Criminals and terrorists are taking advantage of loopholes, [undermining] trust in our financial system and our mission to protect our economies and citizens,” Bruno Le Maire, France’s finance minister, told the Financial Times. “We need to decide now to harmonise the anti-money laundering rules across the EU and introduce stronger European supervision.”

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