Revised EU money-laundering regime could come sooner rather than later

New and revised money-laundering regime could have a shortened transposition

Proposals were adopted by the European Commission during July (2016/208) to make further amendments to the revised Money Laundering Directive (4AMLD) to reflect global developments, events and risk threats that have emerged or taken place since the revised 4AMLD text was originally adopted back in May 2015 (2015/849). Since then, Member States and relevant organisations have been contemplating local implementation by the intended June 2017 transposition date when the current provisions would be effectively repealed and replaced. However, one of the updating proposals could now see the transposition date brought forward to January 2017, giving member States and organisations just a few short months to now put the relevant local laws and statutes into place!

This is just one of a range of further likely amendments to the detail and scope of the 4AMLD. Of particular note, is new regulation concerning electronic identification standards, processes and controls (eIDAS). But also further measures to deliver the harmonisation of the approach and understanding to risks, and to secure and deliver adequate transparency, especially concerning legal entities and high-risk jurisdictions and client types such as corporate and trusts. This extends to the effectiveness of ‘identity’ standards and the proportionate levels of ‘customer due-diligence’ (CDD). In addition are plans to extend the scope of the MLR regime to certain other risk products and services such as pre-paid instruments and virtual currencies. The investigation powers of national Financial Intelligence Units (FIU’s) may also be strengthened by improving access to information using central registers and data retrieval systems with new and extended public records and disclosures of personal data on ‘beneficial owners’ behind legal entities.

Once the new proposals have been finalised and fully adopted through the normal EU process and bodies, then it must be hoped that implementation timelines and expectations will still remain realistic in-line with the probable impacts on organisational policies, systems, processes and risk-management arrangements etc.