CorruptionNewsOrganised CrimePublic Procurement

European Union must do more to reduce Money-Laundering

Article by Barry Quinn, photo from Wikipedia and shared under the creative comms license.

In order to mitigate the effects of money laundering activities in the European Union and in order to bring justice to those undertaking such activities the EU needs stronger anti-fraud and anti-money laundering controls.

Inconsistent processes across the European Union means that swapping financial intelligence is wholly inadequate. The EU Parliaments Tax Crime Committee suggested a more uniform approach.

Danske Bank, Latvia’s ABLV Bank and Malta’s Pilatus Bank have all been hit by money laundering scandals in recent months. A 775 million euro fine was imposed on the Dutch lender ING. The Chairman of the EU Parliament Tax Committee Petr Jazek told a conference in Copenhagen that regulations in many EU states are “not up to the job.”

He went on the state that, “They do not have enough personnel or resources. In some countries their independence is also in question. This (proposed change) will certainly improve the situation.”

The EU Parliament Tax Committee recently visited Estonia and Denmark to meet with legislators, regulators and prosecutors to discuss new EU legislation to tackle this problem.  Some member states in the past have resisted changes to regulations and law in this area, especially those member states who have acted previously as tax havens.

Mr Kofod, the spokesperson for the committee told Reuters that, “everyone can see that, contrary to the United States, Europe has become the first destination for laundered crime money from Russia and other former Soviet Union states, and that is a problem for our security in Europe.”

The committee has called for more regulation direct from the EU, which is in contrast to existing arrangements where member states are free to implement their own procedures.  The change is necessary given Banks such as Danske Bank is currently being investigation in Denmark, Estonia, Britain and the United States.

It is expected that a preliminary deal will be reached in December and that supervisory responsibilities and powers will be awarded to the European Banking Authority.

Comment here