AMLA in Frankfurt or to “to set a fox to guard the henhouse”

AMLA goes to frankfurt

AMLA in Frankfurt or to “to set a fox to guard the henhouse”

On 22 February 2024, the EU Council and the EU Parliament voted 28 to 26 to establish the new Anti-Money Laundering Authority in Frankfurt, Germany. This authority, anticipated in the highly regarded EU Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Package, is expected to play a crucial role in combating money laundering within the European Union.”

In the EU parliament´s press release the Co-rapporteurs Emil Radev (EPP, Bulgaria) and Eva Maria Poptcheva (Renew, Spain) said “AMLA will be a game-changer in cracking down on dirty money in the EU. It will supervise the riskiest financial entities, oversee the non-financial sector, and play a crucial role in stopping evaders from circumventing targeted financial sanctions”.

Linder und Pleyer

After engaging with German authorities and banks regarding money laundering in Germany for over four years (referencing cases like Wirecard, Deutsche Bank, and Deutsche Handelsbank), we are convinced that Germany has been, and continues to be, a haven for scammers and their money laundering activities.

Germany is undoubtedly among the countries with the poorest record in combating money laundering within the European Union.

Our personal take is that EU’s future dirty money watchdog  should be established in a country with an exemplary track record in fight money laundering – but evidently the European authorities decided contrary.

For us, it is certainly a peculiar decision to commend Germany’s efforts in addressing the money laundering issue by situating what is purportedly the most significant European authority for this matter in Frankfurt, Germany. Perhaps they believe that adopting a ‘fox in the henhouse’ approach is suitable.

We will observe how this unfolds, but currently, we harbor significant reservations regarding the appropriateness of this ‘putting the fox in the henhouse’ approach.”

The AMLA regulation is part of a wider package of laws to reform the EU’s framework for combatting money-laundering and terrorist financing. Now that the entire package has been provisionally agreed between Parliament and Council, they need to be formally adopted by both before they can enter into law. Parliament is expected to vote on its final approval in the plenary session of 22-25 April.

Once adopted, the AMLA regulation will apply from July 2025. Before then, the European Commission is responsible for establishing the Authority and for its initial operations.