Home » Frankfurt will be the headquarters of the new EU authority to combat money laundering

Frankfurt will be the headquarters of the new EU authority to combat money laundering

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The AMLA is intended to take the lead in the fight against money laundering within the European Union, both in the area of ​​supervision and in the cooperation of the central reporting units (Financial Intelligence Units). Together with the responsible national authorities, it is intended to ensure uniform application of legislation across the EU. Cooperation between the national supervisory authorities should be strengthened. The new authority is scheduled to begin operations in 2024 and be fully functional in 2027.

Criminals use money laundering to hide the proceeds of crime from the state. The problems are big, says Heribert Hirte from the anti-corruption association Transparency International. Many crimes go undetected “because people often don’t know that the money comes from crimes and then just see it as money.” Money often comes to Germany “somehow” – but the source is not clear. Ultimately, the problem of money laundering is just as big as the authorities look at it. Regarding the establishment of the AMLA, Hirte said: “I also see this as an incentive for the national money laundering supervisory authority to bring Germany itself forward in terms of combating money laundering.”

A budget for the potential surcharge has already been planned in the city’s 2024 budget, said Frankfurt’s economics department head Stephanie Wust (FDP). Around 1.3 million euros are to be made available for “start-up funding” in 2024. It remains to be seen what additional funds should be made available by the city, the state of Hesse and the federal government, said Finance State Secretary Uwe Becker. The federal government, Hesse and the city of Frankfurt want to make at least ten million euros available for the settlement.

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“Great success for the German financial center”

For Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP), the settlement in Frankfurt is good news. “Because we will be able to effectively combat financial crime and money laundering in Europe.” Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) said: “This is not only positive for Frankfurt as a financial location, but also creates synergy effects through its proximity to the ECB and financial market supervision.” For Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD), the decision represents “a great recognition from our European neighbors for the role that Germany plays in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.” The banking industry rated the vote as a “great success for Germany’s financial center.” In the words of Bundesbank President Joachim Nagel, Frankfurt can now “justifiably say: it is the capital of the euro.”

Frankfurt is already Europe’s “supervisory capital”. The European Central Bank (ECB), which not only oversees monetary policy but also oversees the largest banks in the euro area, is based on the Main, as is the insurance regulator EIOPA (European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority). Other international bodies are also represented in Frankfurt: the ESRB (European Systemic Risk Board), which keeps an eye on the stability of the financial system, and the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), which is intended to set global standards for climate-related financial reporting.

According to the city and state government, the AMLA is expected to create 400 to 600 new jobs. Susanne Rosenbaum from EIOPA speculated that job profiles would include lawyers and economists as well as professional positions in areas such as police or customs. Mayor Mike Josef (SPD) emphasized that the jobs should not only be filled by people from abroad.

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Frankfurt was generally not considered the favorite – not even among the applicants themselves. This was due not least to a failed bid for EU banking supervision, for which Paris was awarded the contract before Frankfurt. In addition to the Main metropolis, Rome, Vienna, Vilnius, Riga, Dublin, Madrid, Brussels and Paris also applied as locations for the new authority. According to the information, Frankfurt received the smallest possible majority with 28 votes. Madrid followed with 16 votes and Paris with six votes.

Editorial team beck-aktuell, ew, February 23, 2024 (supplemented by material from the dpa).

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From the beck-online database

Glos/Hildner/Kühne/Schneider: Outlook on financial supervisory law 2024, BKR 2024, 127

Bauerfeind/Hille: The future of money laundering supervision, GWR 2024, 33

Wende/Haffke/Heinrichs:, Current developments in money laundering law (2021 – 2022), BKR 2023, 214

The federal government wants to bring the EU money laundering authority to Frankfurt, report from the beck-aktuell editorial team from October 26, 2022, becklink 2025148

New burdens for lawyers due to money laundering monitoring, report from the beck-aktuell editorial team from September 6th, 2022, becklink 2024542

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