French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has advocated for Paris to become the host city for the European Union's new Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA). Speaking to EU ambassadors, Le Maire emphasized Paris's existing role as a hub in the fight against illicit funds and terrorism financing. He revealed that three potential sites have been identified, and France is ready to contribute €15 million ($16.30 million) to support the establishment of the agency.
Highlighting Paris's credentials, Le Maire pointed out that the city already hosts related institutions, such as the European Banking Authority and the European Securities and Markets Authority. Additionally, Paris is the headquarters of the Financial Action Task Force, a global anti-money laundering body affiliated with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Le Maire asserted, "In terms of anti-money laundering and combating terror financing, the best European ecosystem is in Paris. It’s a fact, and this ecosystem will ensure the agency’s success." Paris has further solidified its position as the largest banking sector in the European Union in terms of assets following the UK's departure from the bloc.
The competition for hosting the AMLA is fierce, with Germany's Finance Minister Christian Lindner advocating for Frankfurt earlier in the week, emphasizing its status as a banking center and home to the European Central Bank. Other countries, including Ireland, Spain, Italy, Austria, Lithuania, Latvia, and Belgium, have also submitted bids to host the agency.
The establishment of the AMLA was agreed upon by EU countries in 2021, aiming to create a dedicated agency to enhance coordination in anti-money laundering efforts across the bloc. The decision was prompted by inconsistencies and shortcomings in enforcement among national authorities. As European nations vie for the privilege of hosting the AMLA, the selection process remains a focal point in the ongoing efforts to strengthen the EU's financial regulatory framework.
By fLEXI tEAM