Anti-Money Laundering: Council Agrees a Negotiating Mandate

On 18 June general agreement was reached at the Permanent Representatives’ Committee (Coreper) on the European Commission proposal for the revision of the Third Anti-Money Laundering Directive and accompanying regulation on information accompanying transfers of funds. This follows the completion of a first reading in the European Parliament on 11 March 2014, and paves the way for the start of trialogue negotiations in the autumn.

The revision is to implement recommendations issued in February 2012 by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), although on some issues the Commission proposals go further. The Commission proposals were published on 5 February 2013 and have been the subject of much discussion which has focused on issues such as the scope of the Directive and the difficulties of identifying correctly beneficial owners of property, particularly in the cases of companies and trusts. 

The proposals contain specific provisions on the storage of information on beneficial ownership. The Council’s approach is to require unrestricted access to the stored information for competent authorities, financial intelligence units and, if allowed by the Member State, the obliged entity. However it allows flexibility in establishing the means for ensuring this. 

The issue of anti-money laundering is of importance to the real estate sector, particularly estate agents who are obliged entities. CEPI looks forward to the conclusion of the negotiations which will now continue under the Italian presidency of the Council of the European Union. 

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