AML: EU FinCrime Chief Eager to Crack Down on Money Laundering
The EU plans to close the legislative and technical loopholes that allow money laundering to remain rampant in many EU states, Raluca Pruna, the head of the European Commission’s Financial Crime Unit, said in an interview with AML intelligence last week.
As the director of the unit, Pruna aims to shift the EU’s approach to money laundering from being on a country by country basis to a centralized force.
The aim of the new approach is to remove any weak links in the EU’s rules and have a central, independent EU element, Pruna said.
“The current rules are often ineffective in dealing with new threats arising from innovation, in facilitating legitimate business conducted across borders, or when it comes to ensuring equal supervisory and oversight standards,” Pruna told AML.
“Closing these loopholes is going to be challenging, since many issues arise from the existing rules not being interpreted and applied in the correct manner,” she explained.
However, with a centralized unit, increased communication between financial authorities through the Union should go a long way.
“Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) play an essential role in ensuring that the EU’s AML (anti-money laundering) system works. Good communication between FIUs and other relevant authorities is key to effectively fighting against money laundering,” said Pruna.
“If coordination is missing, it must be established. Without in any way hindering their current activity, member state FIUs could be supported through a dedicated EU mechanism that allows them to exchange financial data when required, to have common tools that they can draw on when assessing that data, to look at common issues together, and so on,” she said.
As the financial technology industry becomes more and more important to Europe’s economy, Pruna hopes that with those changes among others, the European Union can be a leader in combating money laundering.
“We certainly aim to make sure that the entire world is aware that the EU financial system is closed to dirty money, and that it has the necessary controls in place,” Pruna said.