The European Central Bank has made it clear that it intends to play an important role in the fight against money laundering, advocating close collaboration with the future European anti-money laundering authority. Focus on AMLA.
AMLA, a European anti-money laundering agency in 2024
In July 2021, the European Commission announced its intention to create a new Europe-wide anti-money laundering agency.
Called AMLA (Anti Money Laundering Authority), this agency will coordinate the actions taken by EU member states. It will also have the power to directly manage certain cases when they are cross-border or incorrectly handled by national authorities.
The new anti-money laundering agency should also have specific monitoring resources for "high-risk entities". It is expected to be set up from 2024, and could be based in France, Germany or Italy.
Cooperation with the ECB is essential for real efficiency
The European Central Bank has already indicated its willingness to work closely with this new European authority, even though the fight against money laundering is not part of its official remit.
However, ECB cooperation with the future anti-money laundering agency seems essential, as Elizabeth McCaul and Edouard Fernandez-Bollo, both members of the supervisory committee, explain on the ECB website.
In their view, money laundering can jeopardize the health and very existence of a bank, hence the importance of genuine collaboration between the ECB and the future European anti-money laundering watchdog.
What's more, the ECB is the only institution authorized to withdraw a banking license in the euro zone. If a bank is found to be complicit in money laundering, the ECB must therefore have the necessary information, supplied in particular by the AMLA, to be able to prohibit it from doing business.
According to the ECB, the information transmitted by the AMLA will also help it to ensure that the control procedures put in place by the major banks are not deficient.