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The 4th EU AML Directive: things moving in slow motion

On 16th January 2015, Out-Law.com reported that the presidency of the Council of Ministers wrote (2-page / 174KB PDF) to the Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER) asking it to endorse the draft new Anti-Money Laundering Directive (91-page / 697KB PDF).

The Council and European Parliament reached political consensus on the anti-money laundering reforms last month and the endorsement by COREPER is the next step in the process of finalising the new rules. COREPER is due to meet on Thursday to consider the proposals.

The Directive, as drafted, will also need to be endorsed by the Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs and Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committees before a final vote of the Council and Parliament can be taken to approve the new framework.

Under the deal struck by negotiators for the Parliament and Council, businesses would be required to provide information about the ultimate beneficial ownership of their company to new central registers to be operated by EU countries.

The data on the registers would be accessible to regulators and other “competent authorities” without restriction, and banks and other “obliged entities” would also be able to access the information when conducting ‘know your customer’ (KYC) checks.

In addition, individuals that could demonstrate a “legitimate interest” in the data, such as journalists, could also gain access to the information.

Overall, the draft seems not to have changed the original proposal significantly. Therefore, it remains to be seen if the EU legislative process accelerates or continues in slow motion.


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