EESC calls for comprehensive measures to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing

Money laundering

The EESC welcomes the Commission's proposal to amend the European System of Financial Supervision with the objective of more effectively tackling money laundering and terrorist financing in the EU banking and financial sector, but calls for more comprehensive measures.

These issues are, in the Committee's view, becoming increasingly dangerous in terms of the stability, safety and reputation of the institutions and the sector as a whole. Additional measures are therefore of the utmost importance.

"The latest series of banking scandals has shown that previous improvements in the legislative framework did not strengthen the regime enough to meet the rapid technological change and financial innovations that provide new tools for perpetrators to exploit the system for criminal ends. We therefore welcome the Commission's agility in response to this issue", said Petr Zahradník, rapporteur for the opinion on the subject.

The proposed step-by-step approach for the implementation of new measures would be preferable, but the Commission proposal does not go far enough and several aspects must be clarified, like the scope of the European Banking Authority's (EBA) mandate. More comprehensive measures would be needed to address the problem effectively.

The EESC also stresses that coordination between supervisory bodies should not only be strengthened and procedures streamlined but operations should also be coordinated with other relevant parties.

Petr Zahradník said: "This problem is increasingly important in relation to third countries. We urge the Commission to present a more detailed outline of the new relationships between the EBA and other EU supervisory authorities, as well as national and, especially, third countries' supervisory authorities."

Lastly, internal and external communication need to be more effective. Improving external communication could have a preventive effect. (jk)