Press release 26 July 2019 – 16/2019

Report on anti-money laundering and its implementation in Europe emphasises need for sufficient supervision resources and importance of international cooperation

The European Commission has published a report reviewing compliance with anti-money laundering obligations in banks as well as supervisory authorities’ supervision measures in European Union countries. The report emphasises the need for sufficient supervision resources and the importance of supervisory authorities’ cooperation in supervising anti-money laundering measures.

The Commission’s report makes critical observations, particularly on the inadequacy of anti-money laundering supervision resources, the lack of sanctions, and shortcomings in cooperation between supervisors. In addition, the Commission puts forward proposals to enhance coordination of EU banking supervision and to harmonise national regulation. The development proposals put forward by the Commission have also been supported by the Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA).

“Criminal exploitation of the financial sector erodes trust in both the financial sector and its operators. The FIN-FSA considers it important that corrective measures based on the findings of the Commission’s report are initiated as quickly as possible,” says Anneli Tuominen, Director General of the FIN-FSA. “While increasing the powers of the European Banking Authority (EBA) is in itself to be welcomed, the goal should be to establish a joint EU-level supervisory authority.”

It is the FIN-FSA’s role to supervise that financial market operators comply with applicable provisions and regulations on preventing and investigating money laundering and terrorist financing.

In the spring, the FIN-FSA announced that it was increasing anti-money laundering supervision resources to ten people during the current year, which means a doubling of resources compared with the situation a year ago.

The findings of the Commission’s report are in line with the country report published by global Financial Action Task Force (FATF) against money laundering and terrorist financing. The FIN-FSA published a press release on the FATF country report on 16 April 2019.

The Commission’s report is based on an analysis of a number of money laundering cases uncovered in which banks failed to comply with money laundering regulations.

For further information, please contact:

Pekka Vasara, Head of Division. Requests for interviews are coordinated by FIN-FSA Communications, tel. +358 9 183 5030, weekdays 9.00–16.00.

The corresponding Finnish-language press release was published on 25 July 2019.