Crypto Regulation EU First
Welcome to this week’s AML Roundup. Having struggled with the best way to regulate Crypto and other virtual assets, governments are beginning to bring regulatory rules to the industry. EU countries this week approved the world’s first set of comprehensive directions to regulate crypto assets (the MiCA regulations). No doubt it’ll be the first of many.
We’ve also seen the UK government backtrack on their plans to ditch thousands of EU regulations at the end of the year. Given this includes around 500 finance regulations, the impact could have been significant. We include a full list of the laws to be dropped.
Our coverage of legislation, reports, analyses and opinions includes more on the impact of the forthcoming UK Financial Services and Markets Bill and the fight to ban NDAs. We also look at how US AML enforcement rebounded in 2022 and the amendments made to India’s anti-money laundering law, the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
To complete this week’s Roundup, we provide you with updates on money laundering, fraud, corruption and bribery from around the world, the latest on gaming and gambling regulation, news from the crypto and virtual assets sector and what’s new in global sanctions.
Money Laundering, Fraud & Corruption
EU Council adopts rules to make crypto-asset transfers traceable
As part of a package to strengthen the EU’s anti-money laundering and countering terrorism funding rules, the EU is making it more difficult for criminals to circumvent anti-money laundering rules via crypto currencies. The Council has adopted updated rules on information accompanying the transfers of funds by extending the scope of the rules to transfers of crypto assets.
India amends anti-money laundering law to include accounting professionals, company directors and more
The Indian government has updated its Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 and its accompanying rules (PML Rules) that serve as the primary legal framework for the prosecution of money laundering in India.
US AML enforcement rebounded in 2022, though penalties dropped
The US Federal Reserve finalised 19 enforcement actions in 2022 in response to AML violations, almost twice their total of 11 in 2021 but still far below the 40 recorded in 2020.
How can AI help your firm’s anti-money laundering efforts?
With AI becoming a top priority for accounting firms, this article looks at how it can be used to identify fraud and make it easier to comply with anti-money laundering legislation.
Requirements for hosting the EU’s AMLA released
We’ve reported on the forthcoming EU AML Authority (AMA) before. Now the EU has supplied bidding nations with the requirements they’ll need to meet in order to secure the hosting of the new body in their territory. This includes the provision of a 10,000 square metre building to host an initial 150 staff rising to 400 over time.
Haluk Ferden Gursel honoured for Lifetime Achievement for fighting fraud
Gursel has been honoured for Lifetime Achievement in Compliance at the 2023 Excellence in Compliance Awards for his work combating fraud that dates back to the 1970s, when he was working as an auditor.
Legislation, Regulation and Sustainability
UK Government drops deadline to scrap retained EU laws
The government has ditched its plan for thousands of EU-era laws, including around 500 EU laws covering financial services, to expire automatically at the end of the year.
The UK incorporated thousands of EU laws into UK law to minimise disruption to businesses when the UK officially left the EU in 2020. Since September 2021, it has been reviewing this body of legislation to identify opportunities to give British firms an edge over European competitors with 4,800 having been identified so far.
In a statement on Wednesday, Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch acknowledged the deadline had created “legal uncertainty” for businesses. She said the government had already got rid of, changed or replaced around 1,000 EU-era laws – and was still committed to “lightening the regulatory burden on businesses”. But she added that the “growing volume” of EU laws identified during the ongoing audit had started to get in the way of “meaningful reform”.
Understanding the regulatory impact of the UK Financial Services and Markets Bill
The forthcoming Financial Services and Markets Bill is expected to introduce significant changes to the UK’s financial services regulatory environment. New measures to address current regulatory limitations when dealing with authorised push payment (APP) fraud will be included along with proposals to regulate crypto assets amongst others.
Campaigners step up fight for total NDA ban
The UK Justice minister has agreed to meet with MPs campaigning for a ban on non-disclosure agreements who see them as a way to cover up cases of illegal activity.
Gaming and Gambling
Sweden’s gambling regulator given new payment blocking powers
The Swedish legislature the Riksdag has granted the country’s gambling regulator, Spelinspektionen, new powers to block payments from unlicensed operations.
Regulating gambling across Europe: comparing regulation across the continent
Here’s an interesting article on the differences in the way gambling is regulated across Europe. Some of this is historical, some cultural but in every case, finding the right balance between regulation and gambling revenues is key.
Crypto & Virtual Assets
EU countries officially approve MiCA crypto regulation rules
EU states have approved the world’s first comprehensive set of rules to regulate crypto assets, known as the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation. EU Finance Ministers approved rules expected to be rolled out from 2024.
“Recent events have confirmed the urgent need for imposing rules which will better protect Europeans who have invested in these assets and prevent the misuse of crypto industry for the purposes of money laundering and financing of terrorism,” said Elisabeth Svantesson, finance minister for Sweden, which holds the EU presidency.
Cryptocurrency: treat investing as gambling, MPs say
With the dramatic fluctuations in the value of cryptocurrencies and the ability to lose all your money, UK MPs are urging the government to treat retail investment in these areas as a form of gambling. A Treasury official said the risks posed by crypto were “typical of those that exist in traditional financial services and it’s financial-services regulation – rather than gambling regulation – that has the track record in mitigating them.”
Emirates NBD opens Digital Asset Lab
Emirates NBD has opened a Digital Asset Lab to develop fresh ideas for consumer-facing financial services using digital assets and their underlying technologies.
Russian Hacker Charged in $200M Crypto Ransomware Scheme Against US Infrastructure
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged a Russian national with a crypto-ransomware scheme targeting the United States infrastructure.
EU gets more cautious on hitting third countries over Russia sanctions
As part of its latest draft of new sanctions against Russia, the EU would make it more difficult than originally proposed to cut trade with third countries over busting existing restrictions. In what would be the EU’s 11th round of sanctions since Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year, the focus is on stopping those breaking trade curbs already in place.
G7 leaders to target Russian energy and trade in new sanctions
More on the latest measures announced by G7 leaders that seek to undermine Russia’s future energy production and curb trade that supports Russia’s military.
U.S. and EU sanctions teams enhance bilateral partnership
Following technical meetings between their respective teams to share best practice and strengthen working relationships, the US and EU have committed to working more closely on sanctions as a key tool to address shared foreign policy goals.
The Isle of Man updates its sanctions information on Russia and Myanmar
Your latest weekly update from the worlds of money laundering, legislation and regulation, sustainability, gaming and gambling, crypto and sanctions.