European Union negotiators have reached an agreement on implementing stringent measures to combat money laundering, including the regulation of cryptocurrencies and a cap on cash payments at a maximum of €10,000.
EU Commissioner for Financial Services Mairead McGuinness announced the milestone agreements as crucial steps in the EU’s fight against dirty money, following the accord in Strasbourg.
The plans grant financial investigators increased authority to inspect in cases suspected of money laundering and terrorism financing, including wider powers to suspend suspicious transactions and accounts.
The initiative and plans must now be passed by the European Parliament and receive approval from individual member state leaders in the European Council before they become effective.
Under the agreement, cryptocurrency providers are also required to monitor their clients and report any suspicious activities. They are obliged to be vigilant when handling transactions of €1,000 or more.
Luxury goods traders, including those dealing in precious metals, automobiles, and yachts, are also targeted in the provisions. Football clubs and sports managers are to be included, expanding the number of entities required to comply with EU anti-money laundering regulations.
This means a broader range of institutions, beyond just banks, real estate agencies, and casinos, which play a central role in detecting financial anomalies, will be subject to the new EU regulations.
Additionally, a maximum cash payment limit of €10,000 has been set across the EU, designed to hinder criminals from laundering illicit funds. Member states will have the flexibility to impose a lower maximum limit if they choose.
According to the EU, money laundering and terrorism financing pose a serious threat to the economic integrity and financial system of the EU and the security of its citizens.
Europol estimates that approximately 1% of the EU’s annual Gross Domestic Product is involved in suspicious financial activities.