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S&Ds significantly improved new anti-money laundering legislation


28 Mar 2023


Euro & Finance

The European Parliament’s economic and justice committees have today adopted a strong position on the new anti-money laundering legislation, introducing a new single rulebook and a new EU agency to fight money laundering and terrorist financing. The aim of the legislation is to unify existing national rules that are too fragmented and badly coordinated, which should ensure a better enforcement of these rules and enhance our collective fight against money laundering.

In the negotiations, the S&Ds succeeded in significantly improving the European Commission’s proposal with several important elements, including extending the list of entities obliged to comply with the legislation, introducing mandatory registers for land and real estate owners and certain high value goods, and enhancing the role of the new anti-money laundering agency*.

The position adopted today by the two committees responsible – the committee on economic and monetary affairs (ECON) and the committee on civil liberties, justice and home affairs (LIBE) – is set to become the European Parliament’s mandate for the negotiations with EU member states, which are expected to start in May. Throughout this process, we will continue our efforts to make this legislation as effective as possible.

Eero Heinäluoma, MEP and ECON negotiator on the EU anti-money laundering legislation, said:

“This is without a doubt one of the key legislative files of this five-year parliamentary mandate. It is indisputably also one of the most necessary ones, as several scandals over recent years, such as those involving the Danske Bank and Credit Suisse, have shown.

“Numerous other factors call for a better enforcement of anti-money laundering rules as well. For example, it was recently reported that the year 2022 was a record year in terms of anti-money laundering fines. Financial institutions have paid more than five billion dollars in fines for breaching current rules.”

Paul Tang, MEP and LIBE negotiator on the EU anti-money laundering legislation, said:

“After Russian oligarchs were placed on the EU sanctions list, we witnessed superyachts, airplanes, and race cars rapidly moving outside of EU borders. Authorities were not able to prevent this, proving once again that EU countries have a hard time finding out who the real owner is when it comes to high value goods and real estate.

“That is why the S&Ds have successfully fought for centralised registration of expensive cars, boats, and planes, and for the mandatory disclosure of all goods stored in free zones or customs warehouses. At the same time, the S&Ds have put emphasis on restoring access to beneficial ownership data for journalists and civil society organisations. We have also introduced strong safeguards for fundamental rights, like a fundamental rights officer in every financial intelligence unit. I am proud of this work and look forward to EU member states joining our efforts in beefing up the fight against money-laundering.”

*Note to editors:

The anti-laundering legislative package is composed of a regulation and a directive on the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, and a regulation on establishing a new EU agency for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.

A list of some of the most relevant improvements achieved by the S&Ds:

Within the anti-money laundering regulation:

  • extending the list of entities obliged to comply with the legislation, by adding high-level professional football clubs, sport agents, football associations, property developers, wealth or asset managers, and traders in luxury goods;
  • introducing a ban on citizenship acquired by investments;
  • setting up specific provisions regarding high-risk, high net-worth customers;
  • establishing enhanced due diligence rules regarding certain crypto asset transactions;
  • lowering the limit on acceptable cash payments from €10,000 to €7,000,
  • lowering the threshold to designate a shareholder as a beneficial owner of a corporate entity from 25% to 15% of shareholding, and 5% in higher risk cases.


Within the anti-money laundering directive:

  • more licensing and training requirements for obliged entities, and powers for supervisors to check fitness and propriety of senior managers;
  • more transparency and clarity regarding beneficial ownership of corporate entities;
  • introduction of mandatory registers for land and real estate owners, for high value goods, such as luxury cars, airplanes, and boats, as well as goods stored in free ports/free zones;
  • introducing a system of enhanced supervision of high risk credit and financial institutions;
  • clearer rules for supervision of group entities in the non-financial sector, including colleges of supervisors in the EU.


Within the regulation on the establishing of the EU anti-money laundering agency (AMLA)

  • enlarging the scope of direct supervision by the AMLA to a larger group of entities;
  • establishing a role for the AMLA on implementation of targeted financial sanctions;
  • give the AMLA the power to settle disagreements between financial supervisors;
  • improving the agency’s ability to react in emergencies;
  • expanding the competences of the AMLA in the supervision and oversight of the non-financial sector.