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Commission is creating a draft of the fees that banks will pay to the new AML Authority

According to the EU's financial services commissioner, Europe's new AML Authority (AMLA) is still on schedule to begin operations by 2026.

According to Mairead McGuinness, who spoke to the European Court of Auditors, EU leaders have still not decided where to base AMLA.

"Member States have reached a negotiating mandate on the AMLA Regulation – except for the seat of the new agency," she said.

A larger new budget must now be agreed upon by the governments of the Member States, as AMLA is likely to cost more than the €200M annually originally anticipated.

This was due to the fact that it would now be overseeing cryptocurrency transfers.

According to McGuinness, "These rules will enter into force at the same time as the Regulation on Markets in Crypto Assets (or MiCA), the overarching rules on crypto that the EU is putting in place."

The agency's timeline stayed the same, with full personnel to be attained by 2025 and direct supervisory capability by 2026.

Additionally, protocols would be established to let "specialized observers" from Europol and the Eurojust to support the agency as needed.

Later this year, the European Parliament is expected to adopt its report on AMLA.

After the MEPs have discussed and decided on their modifications, the Commissioner stated she is looking forward to "reviewing the Parliament's position."

The DG FISMA division of the Commissioner's office in Brussels was investigating how banks and other financial institutions would cover the cost of running AMLA at the time. A proposed technique to "set the fees that will help pay for European supervision" was being developed by officials.

How the AMLA will operate

"AML will become the centre of our new supervisory system – undertaking some supervision itself, while coordinating and setting high standards for the rest.

Now first, AMLA will directly supervise those cross-border financial sector bodies exposed to the highest risk of money laundering.

And for this we are following the very good experience of bank supervision within the Banking Union.

There will be Joint Supervisory Teams involving national supervisors, similar to how the Single Supervisory Mechanism supervises banks.

The criteria for the entities that will be directly supervised by AMLA are being discussed by the European Parliament and the Member States.

Second, AMLA will foster high standards, convergence and a common culture among national supervisors.

And that means AMLA will help improve supervision across the board – even for entities it does not supervise directly.

And it will encourage cooperation and interaction between AMLA and national supervisors.

So this system of supervision will rely on cooperation between AMLA and national supervisors – and both have a vital role to play.

The Authority will also have a coordination role in the non-financial sector.

And finally, AMLA will support cooperation among Financial Intelligence Units and enable joint analyses of suspicious activities at EU level.

So overall, we are putting in place a two-tier system.