15 February 2019 at 09:48 BST

European Commission expands dirty money list

Enhanced list of third countries with weak anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regimes include Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Panama.

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The Commission has adopted its new list totalling 23 third countries with strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing frameworks. Banks and other entities covered by EU anti-money laundering rules will be required to apply increased due diligence on financial operations involving customers and financial institutions from these high-risk third countries to better identify any suspicious money flows.

“strongest aml standards in the world’

The Commission concluded that 23 countries have strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering/ counter terrorist financing regimes. This includes 12 countries listed by the Financial Action Task Force and 11 additional jurisdictions. Some of the countries listed today are already on the current EU list, which includes 16 countries. A new listing methodology reflects the stricter criteria of the 5th anti-money laundering directive in force since July 2018, and based on an analysis of 54 priority jurisdictions. The countries assessed meet at least one of the following criteria: they have systemic impact on the integrity of the EU financial system; they are reviewed by the International Monetary Fund as international offshore financial centres; they have economic relevance and strong economic ties with the EU. Vera Jourova, commissioner for justice, consumers and gender equality said ‘we have established the strongest anti-money laundering standards in the world, but we have to make sure that dirty money from other countries does not find its way to our financial system. Dirty money is the lifeblood of organised crime and terrorism. I invite the countries listed to remedy their deficiencies swiftly. The Commission stands ready to work closely with them to address these issues in our mutual interest.’

Next steps

The Commission adopted the list in the form of a delegated regulation. It will now be submitted to the European Parliament and Council for approval within one month (with a possible one-month extension). Following approval, the delegated regulation once published will enter into force after 20 days. The Commission will continue its engagement with the countries identified as having strategic deficiencies in the present delegated regulation and will further engage especially on the delisting criteria. This list enables the countries concerned to better identify the areas for improvement in order to pave the way for a possible delisting once strategic deficiencies are addressed. The Commission will follow up on progress made by listed countries, continue monitoring those reviewed and start assessing additional countries, in line with its published methodology, and update the list accordingly.

 
   
 
 
 

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