29 March 2023
The European Banking Authority (EBA) launched today a public consultation on amendments to its Guidelines on risk-based anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) supervision. The proposed changes extend the scope of these Guidelines to AML/CFT supervisors of crypto-asset service providers (CASPs). The consultation runs until 29 June 2023.
By its nature, the provision of crypto-asset services is a cross-border activity. That is why it is important that the same standards apply wherever CASPs operate in the single market. To achieve this, the EBA is proposing to amend its Guidelines on Risk-Based AML/CFT Supervision to clarify how they apply to AML/CFT supervisors of CASPs.
The amendments include guidance on the sources of information competent authorities should consider when assessing ML/TF risks associated with CASPs. They also highlight the importance of a consistent approach to setting supervisory expectations where multiple competent authorities are responsible for the supervision of the same institutions and stress the importance of training to ensure that staff from competent authorities have the technical skills and expertise necessary for the execution of their functions.
Specific AML/CFT guidance for CASPs will be delivered through the forthcoming amendments to the EBA’s Risk Factors Guidelines, the amendments to the Guidelines to prevent the abuse of fund transfers for ML/TF purposes, and new Guidelines on policies and procedures for compliance with restrictive measures. Through these products, the EBA continues its work to strengthen Europe’s AML/CFT defenses.
Comments to the consultation paper can be sent by clicking on the "send your comments" button on the EBA's consultation page. The deadline for the submission of comments is 29 June 2023.
The EBA will hold a virtual public hearing on the consultation paper on 7 June 2023 from 14:00 to 16:00 Paris time. The EBA invites interested stakeholders to register using this link by 5 June 2023 at 16:00 CEST. The dial-in details will be communicated to those who have registered for the meeting.
All contributions received will be published following the end of the consultation, unless requested otherwise.
The scope of the consultation, and of the consultation questions, is limited to the amendments and additions.
Legal basis, background and next steps
Directive (EU) 2015/849 puts the risk-based approach at the centre of Europe’s anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime. The requirements in this Directive were complemented by the mandate given to the EBA under Article 48(10) of the same Directive requiring the EBA to issue guidelines to competent authorities on the characteristics of a risk‐based approach to AML/CTF supervision.
In July 2021, the European Commission published a legislative package with four proposals to reform the EU legal and institutional AML/CFT framework. One of these proposals, the recast Transfer of Funds Regulation, has already been agreed provisionally. The ‘Provisional Agreement Resulting from Interinstitutional Negotiations’ of 5 October 2022 (2021/0241 (COD)) includes a number of mandates for the EBA. One of these mandates, laid down in article 30(3) of the Provisional Agreement, requires the EBA to issue guidelines on the risk-based approach to AML/CFT supervision of crypto-asset service providers by competent authorities.
Once adopted, the Markets in Crypto-assets Regulation will bring crypto-asset services and activities within the EU regulatory scope. At the same time, CASPs will become subject to EU AML/CFT obligations and supervision. This will ensure that the AML/CTF regulatory and supervisory framework is aligned with international recommendations and that ML/TF risks associated with this sector are addressed and effectively managed.