Great news for Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) activities in Europe!

On the 20th May 2015 the European Parliament approved the fourth anti-money laundering directive (AMLD) which will for the first time oblige EU member states to keep central registers of information on the ultimate “beneficial” owners of corporate and other legal entities, as well as trusts.

Why is this relevant and good news?

Because A Data Pro is among the top providers of governance, risk & compliance research services in the world. Our experts are professionals in research, due diligence report writing, sanctions list creation, false positives remediation and similar services.

The good news is that central registers were not envisaged in the European Commission’s initial proposal, but were included by MEPs in negotiations. The ultimate owners of companies will have to be listed in central registers in EU countries, open both to the authorities and to people with a “legitimate interest”, such as investigative journalists, under new rules already agreed with the Council and endorsed by Parliament on Wednesday.

The new anti-money laundering directive aims to step up the fight against tax crimes and terrorist financing. New rules to make it easier to trace transfers of funds were also approved. The text also sets out specific reporting obligations for banks, auditors, lawyers, real estate agents and casinos, among others, on suspicious transactions made by their clients.

We are especially interested in the special measures envisaged for “politically-exposed persons” (PEPs). The text clarifies the rules on “politically-exposed persons”, i.e. people at a higher than usual risk of corruption due to the political positions they hold, such as heads of state, members of government, supreme court judges, and members of parliament, as well as their family members.

Where there are high-risk business relationships with such persons, additional measures should be put in place, e.g. to establish the source of wealth and source of funds involved, says the directive.

A Data Pro, has been involved in PEP research and database building for some of the leading global information providers in the field, and we are eagerly looking forward to help our current and future partners and governments in building such databases. Especially now, as member states will have two years to transpose the anti-money laundering directive into their national laws.