EU evoked to rethink in the wake of money laundering horrors
As an aftermath of the money laundering scandals in Denmark and the Netherlands, European Union finance ministers have agreed to build up the bloc’s defenses. However, they still aren’t seeing eye to eye on what should be done or who should be doing it.
Three years ago, Germany’s prominent bank, Deutsche Bank AG pledged to work upon its internal controls to avoid a repeat of fines that have crumbled the earnings in the past, and damaged the trust of the customers. Yet, regulators from different countries keep on highlighting the loopholes.
In late September, the German markets regulator issued a reprimand ordering Deutsche Bank to enhance its money-laundering and financial controls. It also appointed a monitor to govern the efforts.
In another high-profile money laundering case revolving around Danske Bank A/S, Denmark’s political image was tarnished. The bank admitted that around $235 billion that flowed through an Estonian unit was laundered. According to the European Union, this was the bloc’s biggest scandal.
These publicly exposed cases have led to calls for an EU money-laundering cop. Though many ministers came out in the favor of the proposal. A few disregarded even a slightest scheme for the European Banking Authority to coordinate the efforts of national agencies charged with tracking illicit money moves.
Below are a few selected ministers’ statements from the meeting in Luxembourg on Tuesday:
- Dana Reizniece-Ozola,Latvian Finance Minister called for the “creation of a financial intelligence unit at the EU level as the scope of combating money laundering and terrorism financing goes far beyond the supervision of the financial sector.”
- Germany’s Deputy Finance Minister Joerg Kukies said he’d like to consider giving the European Central Bank’s oversight arm a stronger role in combating money laundering. “The banking union is a natural starting point to be more ambitious, so before we make a decision for the EBA we would like to discuss and analyze in more depth the possibility to do more.”
- Danish business minister, Rasmus Jarlov: “We fully agree that we have to strengthen our common framework for fighting money laundering. We’re ready to go as far as needed, and we’re also ready to consider conferring some money-laundering tasks to a union body.”
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