Comment: EU proposes new anti-money laundering body

Plans from the EU to introduce a new AML body to combat the transfer of illegal money is a welcome one. But the responsibility to mitigate money laundering needs to be shared between governments and businesses.

Chris Laws, Head of Product and Strategy at Dun & Bradstreet, said: “Previous efforts to curb money laundering have not gone far enough and the EU’s proposed ‘central authority’ is a necessary step to mitigating the estimated £100bn laundered illegally in the UK alone. It’s not just action that is required though. The attitude towards stopping nefarious actors needs to change; the backlash to the EU’s AML blacklist earlier this year is a sign we need to remove barriers that prevent successful AML attempts. This change needs to be driven from the top, with worldwide governments, trade bodies and businesses working in unison.

“Governments can shine a light on important granular details to spot bad actors and make sure risk assessments are carried out, but businesses have a vital role to play too. Having robust compliance processes in place and a transparent view of business relationships can help to uncover suppliers, customers or other partners involved in nefarious activities. Moreover, by activating data and analytics, businesses can eliminate money launderers that in the most extreme case, support terrorists, drug trafficking and human slavery. A failure to vet one’s own business will incur irreparable reputational and financial damage, an unwelcome tagline for any institution and continue to allow money laundering to thrive.”