The new AML Authority (AMLA) would have access to a dynamic register of all EU bank accounts, allowing suspicious accounts to be frozen more swiftly, according to a top European finance official.
The Deputy DG of the European Commission's financial services division, Alexandra Jour-Schroeder, stated that in addition to expediting the issuance of freezing orders, the accounts interconnection will prevent accounts from dissipating, thereby enabling law enforcement to pursue serious criminality.
She spoke at the AML Intelligence 'Women in FinCrime' Summit, which was attended by hundreds of AFC and Compliance specialists from around the world.
Once the agency is in charge, the new AMLA Regulation would also permit "the use of the most advanced available technology," she stated.
The integration of bank account registries, which would be tied to the operation of national FIUs, was important to this "another important milestone to foster information exchange."
She stated that this "interconnection will in the future allow swifter cross-border access to information on bank accounts."
Ms. Jour-Schroeder said, "It will thus contribute that freezing orders are issued more swiftly, that funds in the accounts do not dissipate, and that competent authorities are ultimately able to effectively investigate and prosecute serious criminality."
Already, she stated, EU Member States must implement centralised automated mechanisms, such as centralised registers or data retrieval systems, to ensure the rapid identification of persons holding payment or bank accounts in EU Member States.
"Those mechanisms are extremely useful for the AML/CFT purposes, in particular for the FIUs. Access to this information reinforces FIUs’ ability to carry out analysis and to expeditiously suspend suspicious transactions ," she continued.
She confirmed that AMLA would "become the stable host of FIU.net" — a mechanism for the secure sharing of information between national Financial Intelligence Units.
She stated, "This state-of-the-art system is used by the FIUs of the EU Member States, of Norway and Europol to exchange financial information and intelligence whilst ensuring full protection of personal data."
In addition to the eventual integration of bank account registries throughout the EU, the new AML legislative package will include requirements to enable digital identification.
By fLEXI tEAM