EU considers anti money-laundering agency

EPA-EFE/MATTHIAS BALK

EU considers anti money-laundering agency


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Following a series of high-profile money laundering scandals in the UK, Malta, the Netherlands, Latvia, Estonia, and Denmark European Central Bank board member Benoit Coeure has called for an EU anti-money laundering agency to be created to battle future cases of coordinated financial crime.

Eurogroup President Mario Centeno expressed his hope that the European Union develops a set of concrete policy proposals by the end of the year that can be put in place before European elections are to be held in May 2019.

Dutch lender ING recently agreed to an out-of-court settlement with the public prosecutor after facing money laundering charges. The Dutch lender will pay €775 million – €675 million and a repayment of €100 million – for failing to effectively monitor the movement of capital.

The prosecutor accused ING of allowing clients to move millions of euros without flagging suspicious transactions from 2010 to 2016. The bank now stands to lose its role as the official bank of the city of Amsterdam, according to Netherlands-based financial daily Dagblad.

Italy, whose new populist government has vowed to tackle corrupt business practices in the banking sector, has scaled up measures against graft and money laundering since coming into office in June. The coalition government introduced a bill that will permanently bar anyone convicted of corruption from running for public office or bidding for a public contract. Special undercover law enforcement officers will also be assigned to a new financial crime unit and a series of measures to ensure transparency in party financing will also be put in place.

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