Fifth Anti Money Laundering Directive
Anti Money Laundering
  • By David Lorenzo Alvarez

Fifth Anti Money Laundering Directive

Following a political agreement between the EU institutions in December 2017, the European Parliament has recently given green light to the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive. Now, it is expected that the EU Council will also approve the last revision of the Directive (EU) 2015/849 in the following months.


Once approved, all Member States, including Malta, shall be obliged to transpose the Directive into their domestic legislation within 18months.

In short, the revision will:

enhance the powers of EU Financial Intelligence Units and their access to information, including ultimate ownership of companies and trusts;

grant citizens access to information on the Beneficial Owners of legal entities which operate in the EU (BO registries will be public)

grant access to data on beneficial owners of trusts and similar arrangements to those who can demonstrate a “legitimate interest”;

provide a definition for “virtual currencies”, which operators shall be obliged to carry out due diligence on their users;

address risks linked to prepaid cards by lowering the threshold for identifying the holders of prepaid cards from currently €250 to €150;

improve the safeguards for financial transactions to and from high-risk third countries;

require the establishment of centralised national bank and payment account registers or central data retrieval systems in all Member States.

broaden the definition of “subject persons” by including any person doing business or professional activities related to tax matters as well as providers exchanging virtual currencies and traditional currencies.

Further info in:

- EP Legislative Observatory, Procedure file, 2016/0208(COD). 

- Directive (EU) 2015/849. 

- Provisional agreed text.

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