European Parliament passes Fourth Money Laundering Directive

Members of the European Parliament have added their endorsement to the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, confirming tougher rules to fight tax evasion and terrorist financing, including a few measures which were not in the European Commission’s initial proposed directive.

Key points of the new directive:

– Ultimate beneficial owners to be listed on a database open to authorities, banks performing due diligence checks and people with a ‘legitimate interest’ – investigative journalists, non-governmental organisations are mentioned. Information to be included: beneficial owner’s name, month and year of birth, nationality, country of residence and details of ownership.

– New rules to ease tracking the flow of funds by financial investigators – a “transfers of funds” regulation, which aims to improve the traceability of payers and payees and their assets.

– Special measures for Politically Exposed Persons – enhanced due diligence to establish the source of funds and source of wealth. While many anti-money laundering professionals may already do this as best practice, the 4MLD clarifies the position.

Member states have two years to transpose the directive into national law.

Read the EP’s press release here.

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