ESAs publish joint guidelines on AML/CFT cooperation and information exchange
The three European Supervisory Authorities (EBA, ESMA and EIOPA) have published Joint Guidelines on cooperation and information exchange between competent authorities supervising credit and financial institutions (the Guidelines). This is the first time that such colleges appear in the context of anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT). Consultation on the Guidelines was launched back in November 2018 against the backdrop of AML scandals in the EU banking sector and disquiet around the effectiveness of the EU's AML/CFT regime.
The Guidelines reflect the FATF's International Standards on Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation (2012), which state that the cooperation of authorities responsible for overseeing AML/CFT compliance is an essential part of an effective AML/CFT regime. They form part of the ESAs' wider focus on fostering a common approach to AML/CFT within the EU and complement the EBA's new AML supervisory role.
The Guidelines are designed to clarify the "practical modalities" of supervisory cooperation and information sharing; at the heart of which lie the AML/CFT colleges. The colleges will serve as permanent structures for cooperation and communication between supervisors from different Member States and third countries that are responsible for the AML/CFT supervision of the same firms.
The Guidelines set out:
- the rules governing the establishment and operation of the colleges for firms operating on a cross-border basis;
- the rules around the exchange of information between competent authorities;
- the role of prudential supervisors, who will be invited to participate as observers in appropriate cases;
- the coordination of supervisory action where appropriate; and
- a system of bilateral exchanges between competent authorities where the conditions for setting up a college are not met.
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Date published: 17 December 2019