France, Germany Seek Tougher AML Regulations
Monday, April 29, 2013
Germany and France have called for European anti-money laundering regulations
to be toughened, as part of efforts to clamp down on tax evasion.
In a joint letter addressed to the European Commission, French Finance Minister
Pierre Moscovici and his German counterpart Wolfgang Schäuble underlined
the need for an "ambitious European approach" to combat money laundering
and financial crime. Protecting the integrity of the internal market from illicit
financial flows and from non-cooperative jurisdictions, that deprive national
budgets of vital fiscal resources, is a central objective of French and German
economic policies, the Finance Ministries explained.
Ahead of negotiations in Brussels on a fourth Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Directive,
France and Germany have therefore urged the European Commission to adopt a leading
role in the fight against money laundering. It is vital that the Commission
develops an appropriate risk management strategy, to serve as a framework for
financial institutions in their fight against money laundering, the Ministries
France and Germany are also calling for a better harmonization of national
anti-money laundering regulations. The Ministries stressed that the fourth AML
Directive therefore marks an important step towards enabling national authorities
to identify the ultimate beneficiaries of trusts and legal entities, thus increasing
the transparency of financial flows. France and Germany have also requested
that the European Commission oversee and control the implementation of anti-money
laundering regulations by member states.
In their letter, Ministers Schäuble and Moscovici advocate that the European
Union leads the global fight against financial crime, developing a European
policy against non-cooperative jurisdictions, to reduce difficulties and barriers
to combating tax fraud and money laundering. The Ministers propose that the
Commission should work together alongside EU member states, to identify non-cooperative
jurisdictions and to develop measures, designed to protect the integrity of
the internal market from these countries. This might include the possibility
of limiting the activities of European financial institutions in these states,
the Ministers concluded.