Germany: Federal government wants to crack down on money laundering

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The revised Money Laundering Directive of Germany has come to force early this year and the Federal Ministry of Finance at EU has been charged to ensure there are more uniform regulations in combating money laundering. And the new directive has provided room for closer cooperation between the authorities in Germany to make law enforcement more effective and the real estate industry, in particular, is to be made more responsible with the new directive. In the course of a legal ordinance that is to come into force in the first half of the year, it is planned that notaries will have to report suspicious financial transactions much more frequently in the future. The background is that the real estate market has been booming in many countries, including Germany, at least since the global financial crisis of 2008. Even large sums are always paid in cash. Nevertheless, notaries rarely report conspicuous deals.

Meanwhile, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) is campaigning to set up its own EU money laundering authority so as to stop money laundering, this was disclosed by Bafin boss Felix Hufeld on Thursday at the New Year’s reception of the financial supervision in Frankfurt am Main. However, according to the top German financial regulator, it would be wrong to transfer the controls to the Paris-based European Banking Authority (EBA). After billions of money-laundering scandals such as those at Danske Bank or in Malta, the EBA got more skills last year. Above all, it is a rule-maker and not a controller. The finance ministers have therefore called on the new EU Commission to examine ways to bundle control functions with an EU authority as control remains the responsibility of the national supervisory authorities, but critics believe that they do not always work together sufficiently.