Ireland: State may lose race to host EU money-laundering agency over weak laws

Ireland won’t be able to host a new EU anti-money laundering agency unless it does more to police suspicious transactions at home, MEP Billy Kelleher has said.

The European Commission will today table proposals for a new body to coordinate anti-money laundering (AML) efforts across the bloc and directly regulate risky firms, but it has yet to decide where the agency will be located.

Leaked drafts of the proposal say it would be staffed by up to 250 people, making it much smaller than the EU’s banking and medicines agencies, which Ireland bid for after Brexit.

“Can Ireland become the host of this new agency? Yes, in theory, but unless we strengthen even more our own AML legislation such as supervising the professions that establish trusts, for example, it would be a non-runner in my opinion,” said  Mr Kelleher, a Fianna Fáil MEP.

“We can’t expect to be rewarded with an additional EU agency if our own AML legislation is lacking in comparison to other member states.”

The original full article can be found at independent.ie.

(Photo: Frank McGrath)

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