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Officials of the European Union (EU) have reached a partial agreement to establish a new regulatory body that will oversee Anti-Money Laundering (AML) fights in the region.
According to a Press Release published by the Council of the EU, the plan to establish the new watchdog is aimed at boosting the efficient functioning of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CTF) framework of the Union.
The fight against money laundering is a global affair, and the European Union has always played a frontline role in bringing perpetrators to book. Considering the global nature of financial-related crimes, the EU body is mandating the new Anti-money laundering Authority (AMLA) to make a strong and useful contribution to the fight against AML and the financing of terrorism.
With quite a lot of responsibilities outlined for the AMLA, it is billed to “contribute to the harmonisation and coordination of supervisory practices in the financial and non-financial sectors, the direct supervision of high-risk and cross-border financial entities, and the coordination of financial intelligence units.”
In fulfilling its obligations, the AMLA will be given wide-ranging powers to supervise key financial institutions in the region, and with so many responsibilities already assigned, the scope of operations of the new regulator is bound to increase prior to the final agreement on the AMLA’s establishment.
The immediate powers given to the AMLA will also cover the cryptocurrency ecosystem as the body will determine which offshoots are risky or not.
“In its position, the Council adds powers to the Authority to directly supervise certain types of credit and financial institutions, including crypto asset service providers, if they are considered risky. It also entrusts the Authority to supervise up to 40 groups and entities – at least in the first selection process – and to ensure a complete coverage of the internal market under its supervision. More powers are also given to the general board in the governance of AMLA,” the Council of the EU’s announcement reads.
Encompassing Regulatory Push in the EU
It is without a doubt that the EU is championing a lot of unique regulatory drives that border on the financial ecosystem. How the proposed AMLA will have a direct impact in helping to oversee the Markets in Crypto Asset (MiCA) bill that is arguably set to be passed anytime from now.
As a bloc very robust for financial activities, the EU is notably taking a lead in championing comprehensive regulations that will not only keep licensed players in check but will also bring to book all bad actors across the board.
The EU may be setting a new standard for other regions to follow, and more attention will be placed on the eventual emergence of the AMLA when the final agreement to establish it has been reached by all member states