The European Commission will reapprove a controversial agreement to share data on terrorist financing with the United States despite criticism from EU lawmakers, according to an individual with direct knowledge of the matter.
American officials acted within their rights when barring a European investigator from reviewing an audit of how the two continents exchange data linked to terrorist financing, EU attorneys said Thursday.
As the European Union weighs a new raft of data protection standards, some bankers believe that they can't meet both anti-money laundering demands and Europe's privacy expectations, according to an academic.
A group of European Parliament members will soon weigh in on whether lawmakers should create an EU-wide police force and more closely cooperate on border security to stem financial crime, according to Bill Newton Dunn, a British lawmaker.
An interim agreement allowing U.S. investigators continued access to European financial data in terrorism cases will likely be ratified in February by a skeptical EU Parliament, according to EU officials.
A renewed emphasis on customer data privacy in the European Union is making it difficult for U.S. financial institutions to conduct background checks on EU customers, and in some cases has exposed them to fines, according to legal consultants.
Romania and Bulgaria, the two newest members of the European Union, are among a number of EU nations that are unlikely to adopt sweeping new anti-money laundering measures by a December 15 deadline, according to public officials and AML professionals.
The Belgian-based consortium plans to open the center by then end of 2009 as part of an effort to restructure how financial data is transmitted internationally.
Because data protection laws in Europe and elsewhere make it difficult for a multinational financial institution to share data among all of its branches, the laws "will be the biggest impediment to protection from terrorism," the officials said.
The agreement, announced June 27, resulted from months of negotiations after an EU advisory panel found that the consortium's sharing of information with the United States violated EU data protection laws.
Legislation setting the new cross-border cash declaration rule is aimed at stopping cash smuggling across the EU which is becoming more prominent as financial institutions tighten their anti-money laundering initiatives.