Top stories this week:
EU’s AML Authority operation details | AML in the art market | Critical report on UK financial regulator
Welcome to this week’s AML Roundup. Anti-money laundering news this week looks at details of how the EU’s new AML Authority (AMLA) will operate. There’s also information on how AML regulations in the art world differ between jurisdictions.
The UK’s independent public spending watchdog, the National Audit Office has published a report on how the financial regulator the FCA, needs to improve to become more effective. In parts it’s highly critical of the time it has taken the regulator to react, especially over crypto matters. In the US, we now know when new regulation of real-estate money laundering rules and ESG disclosure rules will appear.
In crypto news, there is detail about how UK market is growing faster than other major economies and we also cover the IMF Managing Director’s calls for crypto regulation at a major conference in Seoul.
To complete this week’s Roundup, we provide you with further money laundering, fraud, corruption and bribery updates from around the world. In addition, there is sanctions news as the UK, US and Canada target human rights abusers just ahead of the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Money Laundering, Fraud & Corruption
EU’s AML Authority (AMLA) comes a step closer
The EU’s Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA), first proposed in 2021 has taken a step forward with the EU Council and EU Parliament agreeing its scope and legal basis to define how it will operate. It will have indirect supervisory powers for entities in the financial sector including crypto asset service providers. It will also play a role in policing sanctions evasion and will introduce a whistle-blowing mechanism. The location of the new body is still to be decided.
AML regulations in the art market compared across the UK, US and EU
The Center for Art Law has published a comparative study on AML regulations by jurisdiction. It provides a comprehensive understanding of the legal approaches in each jurisdiction and raises awareness about the implications for participants in the art market.
Isle of Man updates its latest AML/CFT handbook
Legislation, Regulation and Sustainability
UK’s auditor publishes critical report on the FCA
The UK parliamentary auditing body the National Audit Office (NAO), claims the UK’s financial regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has much to improve if it is to be an effective regulator for the UK financial sector. It cites delays in registering crypto firms and the time taken for action against crypto ATMs as examples. Its report entitled ‘Financial services regulation: Adapting to change’ makes several recommendations for improvement.
US to publish new rules to curb money laundering in real estate in early 2024
The US Treasury had said its Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) unit will propose new real estate AML rules in early 2024. These are expected to require the reporting of identities of the beneficial owners of companies buying real estate in cash to the regulator. This, say anti-corruption advocates, will help close a loophole that allows criminals to hide money in US real estate.
US SEC to finalise ESG disclosure rules in April 2024
According to the recently published regulatory agenda by the US government, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) intends to finalise the much-anticipated climate-related disclosure requirements for public companies in April 2024.
Gaming and Gambling
UK government publishes framework for the operation of the Gambling Commission
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and the Gambling Commission have published a framework document that sets out the Gambling Commission’s core responsibilities, describes its governance and accountability framework and sets out how the day-to-day relationship works in relation to governance and financial matters.
Crypto & Virtual Assets
UK seeing accelerated growth in crypto
The UK is seeing faster growth in crypto than all other major nations. The crypto sector grossed $1.9billion in 2023 up 137% over 2022, according to data provided by altindex.com.
IMF chief urges comprehensive crypto regulation in major speech
At a major digital currency conference in Seoul, Kristalina Georgieva, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, called for comprehensive cryptocurrency regulations. The IMF head stressed the importance of balancing technological innovation in the financial sector with robust regulatory frameworks and called on policymakers to play an active role in developing digital finance.
UK, US and Canada impose coordinated sanctions on human rights abusers
Coordinated sanctions have been imposed targeting forced labour operations in Southeast Asia and government-linked officials in Belarus, Haiti, Iran, and Syria complicit in repressing individual freedoms. This came just ahead of the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December.
New EU law introduces criminal offence of sanction evasion
An EU-wide law introducing the criminal offence for sanction evasions has been agreed. This requires that member states define certain actions as criminal offences:
- helping persons subject to EU restrictive measures to bypass a travel ban
- trading sanctioned goods and running transactions with states or entities which are hit by EU restrictive measures
- providing financial services or performing financial activities which are prohibited or restricted
- covering up the ownership of funds or economic resources by a person, entity or body which is sanctioned by the EU
Inciting, aiding and abetting these offences will also be punishable as a crime.
Your latest weekly update from the worlds of money laundering, legislation and regulation, sustainability, gaming and gambling, crypto and sanctions.