On 19 April 2018, as part of the European Commission’s February 2016 Action Plan to strengthen the fight against terrorist financing, the European Parliament adopted the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (“5AMLD”).
On 19 June 2018, the final text of 5AMLD was published. EU members will have until 10 January 2020 to transpose 5AMLD into national law. As matters stand, the UK will withdraw from the EU on 29 March 2019 with the consequence that the deadline for implementation of 5AMLD will expire during the anticipated transition period following withdrawal. It is anticipated that the UK will implement 5AMLD in full.
5AMLD makes several amendments to the EU’s 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive and is intended to:
- enhance the powers of EU Financial Intelligence Units and facilitate their increasing transparency on who really owns companies and trusts by establishing beneficial ownership registers,
- prevent risks associated with the use of virtual currencies for terrorist financing (by bringing providers of exchange services between virtual currencies and fiat currencies as well as virtual currency wallet providers within the scope of EU AML/CTF controls) and limit the use of pre-paid cards,
- improve the safeguards for financial transactions to and from high-risk third countries (including from a casino’s perspective, requirements to obtain:
- additional information on the customer and their sources of wealth and funds, and
- senior management approval in order to establish or continue the relationship),
- enhance the access of Financial Intelligence Units to information, including centralised bank account registers, and
- ensure centralised national bank and payment account registers or central data retrieval systems in all Member States.
A factsheet on 5AMLD that was published by the European Commission in December 2017 can be downloaded below.