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Rapid Response Team: 0800 559 3500
Switchboard: +44 (0)203 947 1539
Rapid Response Team: 0800 559 3500
Switchboard: +44 (0)203 947 1539

Nicola Sharp, of financial crime specialists Rahman Ravelli, considers the potential significance of European Union anti-money laundering guidelines

Author: Nicola Sharp  17 August 2021

The European Union's banking regulator is proposing guidance for compliance officers in the financial sector as part of its efforts to tackle money laundering.

The move by the European Banking Authority (EBA) is an attempt to harmonise anti-money-laundering rules across the EU and shift responsibility for their implementation away from national authorities. It is the first time that the whole issue of anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) has been fully addressed at EU level.

Expectations of the role, tasks and responsibilities of AML/CFT compliance officers and senior management boards are clearly outlined in the guidelines, as is the standard of information that needs to be communicated between them to ensure informed decision making.

The measures included in the draft guidelines have been designed after taking into account the wide range of bodies within the financial sector that are covered by the EU’s anti-money laundering directives.

Comments about the draft guidelines can be sent to the EBA via the consultation page on its website. The deadline for comments to be submitted is 2 November 2021. 

While the consultation period may prompt some change to the guidelines, they can already be viewed as significant. They are the first time that such comprehensive guidance has been produced regarding what is required of those in compliance roles and management positions. This should promote a consistent approach to money laundering by companies and remove some of the discrepancies that can exist between separate branches of companies in different states. 

The guidelines should also prompt companies to ensure their AML training is as rigorous, focused and pre-emptive as possible.

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Nicola Sharp


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Nicola is known for her fraud, civil recovery, arbitration and business crime expertise, her experience of leading the largest financial disputes and multinational investigations and her skills in devising preventative measures and conducting internal investigations for corporates.

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