In a press release of 20 December 2016 the European Council informs the public it had agreed its negotiating stance regarding amendment of the 4th Anti- Money Laundering Directive.
According to the Council the main changes to the 4th Anti- Money Laundering Directive are:
- addressing risks linked to prepaid cards and virtual currencies. The threshold for identifying the holders of prepaid cards is lowered from €250 to €150 and customer verification requirements are extended. Virtual currency exchange platforms and custodian wallet providers will have to apply customer due diligence controls, ending the anonymity associated with such exchanges;
- improving cooperation between the member states’ financial intelligence units. FIUs will have access to information in centralised bank and payment account registers, enabling them to identify account holders;
- improved checks on risky third countries. The Commission has established and regularly updates (by delegated acts) a harmonised list of non-EU countries with deficiencies in their anti-money laundering prevention regimes. Additional due diligence measures will be required for financial flows from these countries. The list mirrors that established at international level by the Financial Action Task Force;
- enhanced access to beneficial ownership registers, so as to improve transparency about the ownership of companies and trusts. The registers will also be interconnected to facilitate cooperation between member states. Public access is foreseen on the basis of a legitimate interest for all types of companies and trusts, which is an improvement on the current rules as concerns trusts that do not have a business purpose.
More information: the posts on the 4th Anti- Money Laundering Directive.