August 30 2018
Europe has an AML blind spot. European Union leaders are being told to bolster their anti-money laundering rules following a succession of banking scandals. But the bloc’s fifth AML directive, which member states have until 2020 to comply with, doesn’t address the root problem.
At present, there’s no independent European authority which can force banks to clean up their acts. The European Central Bank has no independent investigatory powers to probe AML cases. It can only do so once an issue has been brought to its attention by “national competent authorities” (local regulators) to establish potential wrongdoing. But NCAs’ AML expertise or capacity is often limited. That gives criminals a window of opportunity.