EBA consults on crypto-assets-related amendments to ML/TF guidelines
The European Banking Authority (EBA) recently launched a public consultation on amendments to its guidelines on money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF) risk factors. The proposed changes extend the guidelines’ scope to include crypto-asset service providers (CASPs). The consultation runs until 31 August 2023.
Like other credit and financial institutions, CASPs are exposed to ML/TF risks. For CASPs, these risks can be increased by, for example, employing innovative technologies, making instant transfers of crypto assets across the world, and providing services that contain privacy-enhancing features.
The EBA is proposing to amend its ML/TF risk factors guidelines to set common, regulatory expectations on CASPs in terms of the steps they should take to identify and mitigate these risks effectively. This would include new sector-specific guidance, highlighting factors that could indicate a CASP’s exposure to higher or lower ML/TF risk.
CASPs should consider these factors when carrying out the ML/TF risk assessments of their business and customers at the outset of, and during, a business relationship. The guidelines explain how CASPs should adjust their customer due diligence (CDD) accordingly. They also include guidance for other credit and financial institutions on risks to consider when engaging in a business relationship with a CASP or otherwise exposed to crypto assets.
Specific guidance for CASPs’ AML/CFT supervisors will be delivered in amendments to the EBA risk-based supervision guidelines, complemented by amendments designed to prevent the abuse of fund transfers for ML/TF purposes, and new guidelines on policies and procedures for compliance with restrictive measures.
The Markets in Crypto-assets (MiCA) regulation will bring crypto-asset services and activities within the EU’s 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 effectively addressed and managed.