As the Belgian presidency takes the helm of the European Council, new anti-money laundering (AML) provisions are on the agenda, potentially subjecting major football clubs in the bloc to additional scrutiny. The proposal, discussed at a meeting between the European Parliament, European Commission, and the European Council, aims to extend AML checks to high net worth individuals, requiring them to explain the sources of their wealth. While some Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) seek additional checks on the super-rich, the Belgian presidency emphasizes that the rules should not lead to the "stigmatisation of customers merely on the basis of their wealth."
The proposed regulations would require banks and trust providers to verify the source of funds for clients with assets exceeding €5 million when offering personalized investment management services. Additionally, talking points inserted by the Belgian Presidency suggest that national regulators and Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) may play a role in overseeing the "riskiest transactions" in major European football. This oversight would involve scrutinizing transactions involving investors, agents, and sponsors.
The supervision of these transactions would be carried out by national regulators with oversight from the Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA). The proposal, introduced in a January 6 paper, raises questions about whether football agents would be classified as obliged entities, akin to financial institutions. The Member States may have the discretion to exempt teams deemed low risk based on their financial, cross-border, or league status.
Today's trilogue involving the European Parliament, European Commission, and European Council marks a crucial step in the legislative process for the proposed AML rules. The directive is set to be debated in parliament this month, signaling a potential shift in the approach to AML measures within the European Union.
By fLEXI tEAM