In a recent interview, a member of the European Central Bank's Supervisory Board admitted that earlier anti-money laundering laws were "extremely fragmented."
The ECB is "eagerly" supporting the establishment of the EU's new anti-money laundering authority (AMLA), which Edouard Fernandez-Bollo emphasized will be fully operational in the union by 2026.
Speaking in an interview with Euromoney, he continued that the ECB fully supported initiatives that would enhance regulatory harmonisation, such as the banking package, the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA), and the Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA).
As a result of "scandals and problems in various parts of the European landscape," according to Mr. Fernandez-Bollo, Banks had reported that their compliance costs were "rising in an unharmonized manner."
"From an AML perspective, a fully harmonised approach to customer due diligence is a notable contribution to our market integration," he continued.
He emphasized that because AMLA "represented Europeanisation not only of supervision but also of regulation," the ECB was "very much in favor" of it.
"This is a major step forward. Our advice is to be as ambitious as possible from the start, because the situation is one of massive fragmentation, even more fragmentation than there was on the prudential side," according to Mr. Fernandez-Bollo.
"The new European anti-money laundering authority should be in every EU country to have the global reach to understand the problems everywhere and to make the 27 countries converge. In terms of means, presence and powers, a bit more ambition would be welcome. So we are pushing for it," he continued.
Additionally, he stated that the ECB was "pleased to see" that the European Parliament had "taken up" many of the ECB's recommendations in its report, but he cautioned that it was still uncertain what the final equilibrium would be.
The ECB was "ready to offer help," the ECB Board Member added, and the sector required "positive interaction between prudential supervision and the new AML authority."
According to Mr. Fernandez-Bollo, "I think the EU’s new anti-money laundering authority will be extremely happy to be able to rely on a very good cooperative relationship with the prudential supervisor."
"Given the enormous task, it will need to be able to exchange information, rely on the ECB’s data and have a strong interaction between the two," he continued.
"We need synergies rather than frictions in the framework. So, we are saying try to be more ambitious, and we are ready to help in any way that will make the two kinds of supervision converge smoothly," he said.
By fLEXI tEAM