A new EU proposal hints to the creation of an EU Anti-Money Laundering Authority, a single AML rulebook and broadening the rules regarding crypto AML.
A 20 July 2021 announcement by the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission begins by noting how financial crime generates billions of euros in dirty money every year before moving on to proposals to beef up AML laws. In this regard the announcement reveals plans for a EU Anti-Money Laundering Authority to coordinate national authorities and a single rulebook to strengthen AML obligations.
What about crypto?
It is following an observation of the need for laws to keep up with technological developments that cryptoassets finally get a mention, although it is, of course, in the context of their increased use for money laundering and criminal purposes.
Extension of EU AML rules
To remedy this, it is proposed to now bring cryptoassets fully within the scope of EU AML rules (at present only certain categories of cryptoasset service providers are included). The proposal, therefore, widens the scope of companies handling the transfers of cryptoassets who must obtain information regarding both the transaction originator and beneficiary. Information to be obtained includes the name of the originator, the originator’s account number, the originator’s address, official personal document and place of birth, and the name of the beneficiary and the beneficiaries account number. There is also a proposed requirement to monitor when information is missing. Finally, it is proposed that providing anonymous cryptoasset wallets be banned.
What could this mean?
If implemented, this will ultimately widen the scope of companies who must collect the required information and increase the compliance burden, but should also result in the complete traceability of cryptoasset transfers. Of course, this is still a proposal, and it could take years to become law.
How can Gherson assist you?
Gherson’s white-collar crime team has recently started a series on the regulation of crypto, with the aim of advising those who work in the compliance of this sector. In addition, for those who would like advice on relevant issues, including those who have had issues with the FCA registration process, our specialist regulatory and compliance team can guide individuals and companies through the process.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.
Solicitor in our White Collar Crime Defence Team