Banks in the European Union are reassessing and reducing the due-diligence profiles they keep on all customers to avoid potentially game-changing fines for breaches of more stringent data protection rules set to take effect next year, say sources.
The head of an EU parliamentary committee reviewing files leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca said their yearlong investigation has been hampered by officials refusing to hand over documents and bank executives failing to appear at hearings.
EU lawmakers seeking to strengthen the bloc's controls against financial crime beyond what is currently being considered will pitch more rigorous transparency requirements for trusts, virtual currencies, prepaid cards and bank and payment account holders.
Several of the world's largest financial institutions are years into the process of rethinking and updating how they share the personal information of their customers across borders to thwart illicit finance.
Reports last month alleging widespread misuse of shell companies linked to Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca have drawn undue criticism of the British Virgin Islands, according to two Tortola-based investigators.
Facing criticism over his late father's offshore holdings, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron outlined plans on Monday asked parliamentarians to make it easier to prosecute companies that aid tax dodgers.
The leak of millions of records purporting to show widespread exploitation of offshore financial centers by global leaders, lenders and criminals is expected to draw governmental scrutiny of illicit finance, however unevenly.
European Union nations may still have to name the owners of corporations but they won't necessarily do so publicly, under the economic bloc's latest iteration of an anti-money laundering proposal.
EU parliamentarians voted Tuesday to require member-states to update their laws targeting money launderers and the financiers of terrorism, in part by naming corporate owners.
The EU Parliament adopted final recommendations Wednesday that would establish a public prosecutor's office and require member nations to ascertain the beneficial owners of companies incorporated within their jurisdictions.