14 December 2020
The European Banking Authority (EBA) published today an Opinion on how to strengthen the connection between the EU legal frameworks on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing, and deposit protection. The proposals set out in the Opinion are addressed to the European Commission and aim at informing its ongoing reviews of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD) and the Deposit Protection Schemes Directive (DGSD). The Opinion is also addressed to the national authorities, to implement some changes already under the current legal framework and ahead of the potential future revisions of the AMLD and DGSD.
In its Opinion, the EBA assessed how information about potential money laundering or terrorist financing risks of depositors is identified and transmitted to deposit guarantee schemes (DGSs) ahead of them repaying depositors.
In particular, the EBA assessed how authorities have cooperated in such cases, and how effective such information sharing and cooperation mechanisms have been in real-life cases – including where the relevant authorities identified systemic issues with the way credit institutions have complied with their AML duties. The EBA also looked at how depositors, whose payout has been suspended or deferred, or who have been excluded from the payout, have been informed of their situation.
The EBA has used the outcomes of its assessments to set out how the EU legal framework should be strengthened to enable and enhance effective cooperation between relevant AML/CFT and DGS authorities in the run-up to, and during, bank failures, where there are money laundering concerns. The Opinion also sets out what relevant authorities should do to minimise the risk of repaying money launderers in the course of DGS payouts, including the requirement to ensure traceability of funds in such payouts. For the time until the EU legal framework is changed, the Opinion also indicates the type of information national authorities should receive from the failing credit institutions, and how the authorities should communicate with depositors in such cases.
This Opinion has been drafted in accordance with Articles 1(2), (5)(h), 8(1)(h),(i) and (l), 9a(1), 16a(1), 26, and 29(1)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010 as the topic of the correct application of the DGSD, including issues relating to DGS payouts in connection with the AMLD, is in the EBA’s area of competence and as part of the EBA’s objective to play ‘an active role in building a common Union supervisory culture and consistent supervisory practices, as well as in ensuring uniform procedures and consistent approaches throughout the Union.’.
In addition, Article 19(6) DGSD requires the EBA to support the EU Commission in its development of a report on the progress towards the implementation of the DGSD. This Opinion builds on the EBA’s existing publications in fulfilment of the mandates above, which are the three EBA Opinions on the implementation of the DGSD, published between August 2019 and January 2020 (available here).
On 3 March 2020, the European Commission issued a call for advice to the European Banking Authority (EBA) on ‘defining the scope of application and the enacting terms of a Regulation to be adopted in the field of preventing anti‐money laundering and terrorist financing’. The EBA published the response to the Commission’s request for technical advice on improvements to the AML/CFT framework on 10 September 2020 (available here).