On 20 April 2015, the Council of the EU adopted the draft Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive and the draft Wire Transfer Regulation at first reading. The main elements of the proposals are:

  • Extension of the Directive's scope to include greater number of traders by reducing the cash threshold for designated persons from €15,000 to €10,000, and also including providers of gambling services;  
  • Further application of the risk-based approach, using evidence-based decision making;   
  • Tighter rules on customer due diligence;   
  • Supranational risk assessments financing that affect the internal market and relate to cross-border activities, to be co-ordinated by the European Commission;     
  • Additional requirements in relation to beneficial ownership of corporate customers, including that information be stored on beneficial ownership in a central register , accessible to competent authorities, financial intelligence units and, as part of customer due diligence, obliged entities such as banks (although the register may be made public).   
  • New traceability of fund transfers requirements, including information on the payee;   
  • Sanctions will be increased to provide for a maximum fine of at least twice the amount of the benefit derived from the breach or at least €1 million.