European Commission To Create New AML Blacklist

The European Commission vowed to compile a new list of countries that present a money laundering risk by summer as it steps up its fight against financial crimes.

According to a report in The Financial Times, the European Commission is vowing to create the list after EU governments rejected its idea to name and shame those involved with money laundering. According to The Financial Times, Vera Jourova, EU commissioner for justice, told the paper the commission will meet with government to address any issues with how the commission came up with what will amount to the first blacklist of countries over money laundering and terrorist financing. The report noted Saudi Arabia and four overseas U.S. territories are on the list. All of the 28 member states voted to block the list from being made public last week. They argued the list was not created in a transparent manner, reported the FT. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia lobbied against the list, with the two countries accusing Brussels of using it for political purposes, reported the FT.  

Jourova said following a meeting with the European Union home affairs ministers that the new list would be compiled following the European elections coming up in May. “We will engage very actively with the member states on the methodology — this was the core of their criticism,” the FT quotes Jourova as saying. “We have to do it, we need [the] blacklist.”

The EU has been calling for tougher rules to fight money laundering for some time now. In December reports surfaced that Brussels was looking to get beyond quick-fix proposals made in September to increase supervision of banks. If they went through, the banking authority would have more powers to oversee national banking watchdog organizations. This is in reaction to a series of money laundering scandals that’s rocking Europe.