Banks in Ireland have welcomed an upcoming reform of the European Union’s anti-money laundering regulations that will affect the crypto space. The Irish banking industry organization voiced support for the changes aimed at disrupting illicit transactions at the union level while calling them “radical.”
New AML Body to Weed Out Suspicious Transactions in the EU, Irish Banks Say
Financial institutions in Ireland have expressed their positive attitude towards intentions to reform the anti-money laundering mechanisms of the European Union, the Irish daily Independent reported. According to the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), the new AML authority the EU plans to create will weed out suspicious cross-border transactions in the bloc.
Quoted by the publication, Keith Gross, who heads financial crime and security at the BPFI, noted that the proposed changes include a “set of radical reforms that will greatly assist and bolster our members in their daily and ongoing work – detecting, preventing and disrupting money laundering and the financing of terrorism here in Ireland and across the EU.”
Earlier this week, the European Commission put forward a set of legislative proposals tailored to strengthen the EU’s anti-money laundering and countering terrorism financing rules that will apply to the crypto sector. The amendments are expected to ensure “full traceability of crypto-asset transfers.” The legislation envisages the establishment of a new EU Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA).
The regulations will oblige crypto exchanges, for example, to identify the sellers and buyers of crypto assets. They will also limit cash transactions across the union to €10,000. The new rules will affect not only cryptocurrency platforms and banking institutions but will extend the EU supervision over the legal, accounting, and real estate sectors as well.
Under the existing regulatory framework, national authorities are free to interpret AML rules and Ireland has been criticized by Brussels for failing to properly oversee lawyers, accountants, and other agents setting up trusts on behalf of clients. That’s despite Dublin having three institutions responsible for combating AML offenses: the Garda Financial Intelligence Unit, the Department of Justice, and the Central Bank of Ireland.
The updated rules will be applicable across the European Union’s 27 member states. EU officials expect the AMLA authority to help prevent money laundering and terrorist financing cases in the European Union by “directly supervising and taking decisions towards some of the riskiest cross-border financial sector obliged entities,” a media report quoting EU documents revealed earlier this month.