The European Parliament adopted on 28 February 2017 its report on the reform of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive (‘AMLD 4’), which was proposed by the European Commission on 5 July 2016. The existing directive is being revised in order to increase the transparency of financial transactions and corporate entities.

Based on the draft prepared by co-rapporteurs Judith Sargentini and Krišjānis Kariņš, the report calls to lower the threshold to be considered as a beneficial owner to 10% of the shares in the entity, as opposed to the 25% threshold initially proposed by the European Commission. The scope of powers granted to the European Commission is also widen by the report to cover exchange of information among member states, whistleblower protection and the assessment of the anti-money laundering frameworks of third countries.

Regarding publicity requirements, the report recommends that the beneficial ownership register should be made available to the public, either freely or on the basis of a limited fee to cover administrative costs. The risk assessment report that member states are required to address to the European Commission would also be made public in the form of a summary excluding confidential information.

Finally, the report adopted by the European Parliament calls on the European Commission to present by June 2017 a proposal to create a European financial intelligence unit to coordinate the fight against financial crime by means of exchanges of information, joint analyses and permanent coordination with the national units.

Trilogues are now ongoing between the European Parliament and the Council of the EU to agree on a common position.