The European Parliament and the Council have reached an agreement on the Commission’s proposal to amend the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (4AMLD).

In particular, the main changes to the 4AMLD relate to the following:

  1. The beneficial ownership registers for legal entities, such as companies, will be public;
  2. The access to data on the beneficial owner of trusts will be accessible without any restrictions to competent authorities, Financial Intelligence Units, obliged entities, and other persons who can demonstrate a legitimate interest;
  3. Member States will have the possibility to allow the anonymous use of electronic money products only in two situations: (i) when customers use their prepaid instrument (such as prepaid cards) directly in the shop for a maximum transaction amount of €150; and (ii) when customers carry out an online transaction with a prepaid card below €50;
  4. The scope of the rules will be extended such that they will also apply to entities which provide services that are in charge of holding, storing and transferring virtual currencies, to persons who provide similar kinds of services to those provided by auditors, external accountants and tax advisors which are already subject to the 4AMLD, and to persons trading in works of art;
  5. The Commission will list jurisdictions presenting strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT regimes and such list will also include third-countries with low transparency on beneficial ownership information, no appropriate and dissuasive sanctions or which do not cooperate nor exchange information; and
  6. Member States will be required to set up centralised bank account registers or retrieval systems to identify holders of bank and payment accounts.

The agreed text can be accessed here.

The agreement, which was reached on the 14 December, will need to be formally endorsed by the European Parliament and the Council. Member States will then have 18 months to transpose these new rules in their national legislation.