Anita Clifford comments on recent AML action by European Commission

Speed read: EU officials took the unprecedented step on Thursday of directly ordering a member state’s financial regulator to improve its supervision of banks for anti-money laundering purposes. The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, told Malta’s Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit to react more rapidly and decisively when responding to AML violations, adjust its policies for assessing penalties, adopt a risk-based approach to supervision and keep ‘systematic and detailed’ records of all on-site inspections.

The Commission separately censured three other member states-Luxembourg, Denmark and Estonia-over failures to transpose all elements of the EU Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, or 4AMLD, into national laws and regulations. In an interview with published 8 November 2018, Anita Clifford commented on European Commission’s new ‘top-down approach’ and the implications for enforcement cooperation where there were AML framework inconsistencies and deficiencies throughout the EU.