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The new 5th EU AML Directive

Coming into force by January 2020.

The new 5th EU AML Directive followed the 4th EU AML Directive quite soon, driven by the rise of digital currencies, and following the scandal of the Panama and Paradise Papers. It has only been two years since the last EU AML Directive came into force, and the EU wants to reassure its citizens and businesses that they are at the forefront of developing financial crime issues.

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So, what are the new main changes then?

The update takes aim at:

  1. Improving transparency on the real owners of companies and trusts by establishing beneficial ownership registers;
  2. Virtual currencies are now in scope of regulation for obliged entities;
  3. The anonymous use of E-Money products such as prepaid cards are now limited; and
  4. High-risk third countries due diligence check on transactions.

Other features include enhanced co-operation and information sharing among all EU Financial Intelligence Units to make data more accessible. The FIUs would also obtain more powers under the 5th AML Directive prior to filing for a request for information.

Centralised bank and payment account registers are to be set up and access would also be granted to FIU’s for easier information sharing.

It is fair to say that the full impact of the new Directive will not yet be known. However, firms are encouraged to prepare accordingly for these upcoming changes.

For the full text of the Directive and Factsheet please peruse the European Commission website here:

Need a Hand?

If you have questions about the 5th EU AML Directive, or AML & CTF compliance generally, please feel free to contact us.



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