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. With the deadline for meeting the strict AML provisions of the EU's Third Money Laundering Directive days away, Romania is considering laws that would weaken the ability of its prosecutors to convict money launderers and terrorists, a U.S. official said last month. The European Commission adopted the directive in 2005 to raise the AML and anti-terrorism standards of member countries...
The country's financial intelligence unit needs to increase its staff and law enforcement agencies need to better train officers in analyzing financial information, according to a report by the U.K.'s top criminal intelligence unit.
European Union justice ministers agreed Friday on guidelines for the sharing of personal data among law enforcement agencies and European courts, giving European citizens greater assurances of privacy in terrorism and criminal cases.
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.
Whether political figures like Augusto Pinochet require extra scrutiny from financial institutions that serve them long after they leave office may change in European Union nations under a 2004 AML directive expected to be implemented union-wide this year, according to analysts.
The new law extends anti-money laundering program requirements to industries including real estate companies, company formation agents and consumer credit businesses. They also set guidelines for determining beneficial ownership of various entities.
Proposed changes to AML-related laws and regulations, detailed in a Jan. 22 U.K. Treasury report, include vague definitions of beneficial owners and trusts and lack the clarity businesses and professionals need to meet their regulatory obligations, according to two professional associations.