France calls for stronger counter-terrorist financing laws

By Christine Duhaime | January 29th, 2015

Consensus on Supranational Risk Assessment 

As part of the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive approval process in the European Union (the “4th AMLD“), the Council of the European Union’s President yesterday issued declarations and proposals for the regulation of anonymous financial transactions that are transacted on new fintech products.

The communication from the President included Declarations from Member States and a Joint Declaration from the European Union Commission and the Council.

The Joint Statement said that as a result of the attacks in Paris this month, decisive action against terrorist financing must be taken and that in addition to the 4th AMLD, the EU needs to speed up implementation at the Member State level of the 4th AMLD; improve cooperation of FIUs; and undertake a supranational risk assessment for digital currencies.

Four Member States made Declarations with the Council. Austria expressed concerns regarding beneficial ownership rules because they do not apply to trusts, ergo tax havens and some private equity firms and the UK noted that there should not be duplication in respect of beneficial ownership and noted that Politically Exposed Person regimes needed to be consistent.

France Calls for Regulation to Strengthen Counter-Terrorist Financing

France issued a Declaration that as a result of the terrorist attacks in Paris, decisive action needs to be taken in respect of terrorist financing.

France is seeking to have the EU adopt a strict position on anonymous electronic money and the financial transactions carried out with electronic money. A strict stance means to prohibit anonymous digital financial transactions by requiring that they be transparent and not-anonymous.

France recommended amending legislation to stop terrorist financing by controlling anonymous payment instruments by strongly regulating electronic money and requiring that there be reporting requirements for those transactions within the AML regime. It also recommended improving existing terrorist financing asset freezing laws.

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