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EU expands AML regulation

What has happened?

In April 2024, the European Parliament passed legislation aimed at bolstering the EU's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing measures.

The package of laws, consisting of the sixth AML Directive, the EU “single rulebook” regulation, and AMLA regulation, strengthens the EU’s money-laundering and terrorist financing fighting toolkit.

What are the key points of the new package?

  • ‘Immediate, unfiltered, direct and free access to beneficial ownership information’.

Parties with a ‘legitimate interest’, such as journalists, civil organisations, competent authorities, and supervisory bodies, now have the right to gain access to beneficial ownership information. Parties will be able to access beneficial ownership data, which is stored in national registries, as well as at the EU level. These records date back five years.

  • Expansion of powers held by Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs)

The package has expanded powers held by FIUs to analyse and detect money laundering and terrorist financing, in addition to suspending suspicious transactions.

  • Enhanced Due Diligence Measures

The new laws include enhanced due diligence measures and checks on customer identity. Obliged entities, such as banks, crypto assets managers, and real estate agents, must report suspicious activities to FIUs and other competent authorities. As of 2029, top-tier football clubs will adopt know your customer responsibilities, when involved in high-value financial transactions.

The measures also contain enhanced due diligence provisions for ultra-rich individuals (having a total worth of at least €50,000,000, excluding their main residence), and an EU-wide limit of €10,000 on cash payments, except between private individuals in a non-professional context.

  • Establishment of money-laundering watchdog (AMLA)

The Authority for Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AMLA) will be established in Frankfurt to enforce these new rules[1]. AMLA will supervise the “riskiest” financial entities, intervene in cases of supervisory failures, act as a central hub for supervisors, and mediate disputes between member states. AMLA will also supervise member state implementation of targeted financial sanctions. See further details here.

How can we help you?

Thistle Initiatives has supported regulated and non-regulated firms for a number of years as a trusted compliance and regulatory adviser. We understand the importance of staying up-to-date and compliant and are dedicated to providing the guidance and support needed to do so.

Are you looking for help with your financial crime arrangements, or more general regulatory questions? If so, we can help in any of the following ways:

  • Reviewing customer verification arrangements,
  • Reviewing suspicious transaction reporting arrangements,
  • Reviewing sanctions compliance,
  • Implementing a compliance monitoring programme.

Contact our specialist team now to schedule a free consultation. Get in touch with us by calling 020 7436 0630 or sending an email to