Thursday, December 3, 2020

Money laundering and terrorist financing still a concern in Europe – ESA

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Three European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) have published their second joint opinion on the money laundering (ML) and terrorist financing (TF) risks impacting the European Union’s (EU) financial industry.

These include the European Banking Authority (EBA), the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).

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Transaction monitoring and reporting suspicious transactions is still a cause for concern, particularly for businesses processing high volume transactions. Moreover, across the financial sector, ‘adequate business-wide and customer risk assessments’ are still proving difficult to achieve for companies who authorities think could benefit from competent authorities’ (CAs) advice.

The ESAs believe new technologies will better fight financial crime, but also point out the flip side of using more technology, which could see increased ML and TF risks. Therefore, new technology such as cryptocurrency are ‘an area of growing concern’ for authorities, because the lack of a common regulatory regime and the anonymity they offer heighten ML and TF risks.

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The authorities have created an interactive tool to give European citizens, CAs, and credit and financial institutions ‘a snapshot of all ML and TF risks’ covered in this joint opinion.

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