Germany set to make property cash transactions illegal, as Berlin's AML efforts are scrutinized


Berlin's finance minister has informed anti-financial crime chiefs that Germany is planning to prohibit cash transactions in its property market.

Christian Linder announced that the government was working on new real-estate legislation to help combat money laundering and other financial crimes.


It comes in the wake of reports that Germany is a "money laundering paradise."


The new real estate cash prohibitions have now been announced by Finance Minister Lindner.


Finance Minister Lindner told the Financial Action Task Force Plenary in Berlin that "our national risk assessment shows that we need to do more in the real-estate sector."


Meanwhile, under Europe's new anti-money laundering legislation, all cash transactions exceeding €10,000 will be prohibited. That, at least until now, had been under pressure from some Berlin politicians.

The FATF Plenary also heard from Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who was previously the Finance Minister.


The organization, which sets international standards in the fight against terrorist financing and money laundering, is currently led by Germany.


After reviewing Germany's record in combating financial crimes, the FATF is expected to release a report on the country in August.


Because of its lax cash and privacy rules and ineffective law enforcement investigations, Germany is still a "money laundering paradise," according to an AML Intelligence Roundtable in Brussels this week.


The German financial regulator, BaFin, has come under fire for failing to spot problems at Wirecard, which went bankrupt in 2020 owing billions of dollars.


Meanwhile, reports in Indian media that Pakistan would be removed from the FATF's "grey list" were proven to be false while  Malta has been removed from the "grey list," while and Gibraltar, a British overseas territory, has been added to the watchlist.


Going on the FATF watch list is estimated to cost a country's economy 7.6% of its GDP.


According to Indian newspaper reports, Pakistan was found to be in compliance with all 34 aspects it was asked to improve on, despite the fact that a formal announcement will be made later in the day.


FATF has now named T. Raja Kumar of Singapore as its new President, who will take office on July 1 for a two-year term.

By fLEXI tEAM