Germany’s Finance Minister Christian Lindner on Thursday (November 9, 2023) called on European Union nations to choose Frankfurt as the seat of the bloc’s anti-money laundering authority (AMLA).
Lindner stated that a decision to locate AMLA in Frankfurt is a key move in order to give the newly-formed entity immediate access to a robust financial and supervisory architecture.
As reported by Reuters, European Union policymakers had proposed the new agency back in 2021 in order to prevent financial services providers from assisting criminals and terrorist organizations (intentionally or unintentionally).
So far, Brussels has depended on national regulatory authorities with no EU authority in order to curb money laundering and terrorist financing running into billions of dollars. Financial crime has become a growing problem, globally, especially after the COVD-19 outbreak – with many consumers and businesses operating online.
Lindner also mentioned that the EU should try to become a global leader in the area of financial integrity and solidify its position as an international standard setter.
In September 2023, the European Commission had asked EU states to apply to support the new agency, with a deadline for submissions set for this Friday. Other jurisdictions set to enter the ongoing race are Luxembourg, Madrid and Rome.
Lindner said that Frankfurt is the ideal spot for the agency since it’s a major banking hub.
He pointed out that this means that AMLA and its staff will be able to carry out their primary tasks, such as the direct supervision of Europe’s biggest financial service providers with greater efficiency and overall sustainability.
Lindner pointed out that having the European Central Bank as a neighbor could improve cooperation and communication between banking and money laundering supervisory agencies.
He further noted that Germany is budgeting cautiously while establishing clearly-defined spending objectives.
However, he clarified that AMLA is one of those key priorities. The minister also confirmed that there’s currently a budget allocation for AMLA in place.