The European Union should create a single set of rules that are binding on member states to deal more effectively with money laundering and terrorist financing, the bloc’s banking watchdog said on Thursday.
The European Banking Authority (EBA) said strengthening EU laws would plug gaps and tackle divergent national approaches to applying the bloc’s existing rules on money laundering (ML) and terrorist financing (TF).
EU states currently have room to interpret the bloc’s rules as they have been transposed into 27 sets of national laws.
A directly binding single EU regulation would stop national practices that have had a significant adverse impact on preventing the financial system from being used for ML/TF purposes, the EBA said in a statement.
Such binding regulation would then mean that cooperation and information exchange across the EU single market “is no longer the exception, but the rule”, the EBA said.
It would also make the “effective and efficient” operation of a future EU-level supervisor for anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing possible, it added.