Frankfurt am Main will be the headquarters of the new EU anti-money laundering authority

As of: February 22, 2024 8:33 p.m

The banking metropolis of Frankfurt am Main will be the headquarters of the new EU anti-money laundering authority Amla. Finance Minister Lindner had promoted the location – not least because the ECB is also based there.

The European Union’s new anti-money laundering authority is to be located in Frankfurt am Main. Representatives of the EU states and the European Parliament voted in the evening in favor of the headquarters of the so-called Amla (Anti-Money Laundering Authority) in the Main metropolis, as the Belgian EU Council Presidency announced.

This means that Germany’s bid for the seat won against eight European capitals. Paris and Madrid were recently considered the fiercest rivals in the months-long selection process, and Dublin was also given chances.

EU Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis congratulated Frankfurt. The new authority will fundamentally change the fight against dirty money, he wrote on Platform X.

Fight against financial fraud

The EU Commission proposed a joint anti-money laundering authority in 2021. The Amla is intended to combat money laundering and terrorist financing in the EU. It is intended to directly supervise credit and financial institutions that operate across borders and are considered high risk, including providers of crypto asset services. It should also coordinate and support the national supervisory authorities.

Frankfurt is an attractive location thanks to the ECB

The European Central Bank (ECB) is already based in Frankfurt am Main, which not only sets key interest rates and strives for price stability, but also supervises the largest banks. The EU insurance supervisory authority EIOPA also has its headquarters in the Hesse city. Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner personally supported the Main metropolis. The idea is that in Frankfurt there could be one-stop supervision in the fight against money laundering at just one location.

The authority is expected to initially have up to 500 employees. It is intended to directly check around 200 companies across Europe, primarily banks and financial service providers. It is also planned that it will develop recommendations for national authorities.

Three potential buildings have been reserved in Frankfurt for the Amla. Germany supported the project with ten million euros. The money is intended to help you get operational quickly in the first few years.

Money laundering is also a problem in Germany

The burden when applying was that money laundering is more widespread in Germany than in many other EU countries. An international expert committee confirmed that Germany had made progress in the summer of 2022, but still sees a need for action. Above all, there is still a lack of effective law enforcement.

Lindner wants to bundle the different competencies within the national fight against money laundering in a new authority with sufficient staff and a modern IT infrastructure. The project still has to be approved by the Bundestag.

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