On 21 February, The European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) (the European Banking Authority, the European Securities and Markets Authorities and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority) published a joint opinion addressed to the European Commission on the risks of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (ML/TF) affecting the European Union's financial sector.

The joint opinion found that there are problems in relations to firms' understanding and management of the ML/TF risks that they are exposed to. The opinion noted considerable differences in the way national competent authorities discharge their functions, as well as a lack of timely access to intelligence, which creates difficulties for firms identifying and preventing ML/TF.

The Opinion states that addressing these issues is of particular importance as Member States move towards more risk based Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing regimes, which require a level of ML/TF awareness and management expertise that not all firms and sectors currently have.

A link to the joint opinion is here.