Frankfurt wins bid to host EU’s new AML Authority


Frankfurt has been selected to house the new Authority for Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AMLA).

This choice, made through a joint vote by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and EU ambassadors, positions Frankfurt at the forefront of the EU’s regulatory measures against financial crimes.

The selection process was highly competitive, with a total of nine cities vying for the opportunity to host AMLA. Frankfurt emerged victorious in the first round of voting, a testament to its robust infrastructure and strategic positioning within the financial ecosystem of the EU. This decision also marks the first instance where the EU Parliament and Council have jointly agreed on the location of a new agency, following a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union that mandates equal participation in such decisions.

Co-rapporteurs Emil Radev and Eva Maria Poptcheva hailed the establishment of AMLA as a significant step forward in the EU’s battle against illicit financial activities. They emphasized the authority’s mandate to supervise high-risk financial entities and its critical role in ensuring non-financial sectors are not exploited for money laundering or to bypass financial sanctions. “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,” they stated.

A press conference following the vote featured discussions with Parliament co-rapporteurs, Willem van de Voorde, and Mairead McGuinness, outlining the next steps and the broader context of AMLA’s role within the EU’s legal framework. This framework is part of a comprehensive package aimed at reforming the EU’s approach to combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

Formal adoption of this package is anticipated in the upcoming plenary session, with the AMLA regulation set to take effect in July 2025. Until then, the European Commission will oversee the establishment and initial operations of AMLA, ensuring a smooth transition towards a more stringent and coordinated regulatory environment.

Enrico Aresu, Director – Compliance & Financial Crime and Industry Practice Lead DACH & CEE at Moody’s Analytics, “Frankfurt is the most prominent financial location in the EU and the decision to locate the Anti-Money Laundering Authority there will give the new agency immediate access to an outstanding financial and supervisory architecture.

“Having the European Central Bank in the same location will facilitate cooperation and communication between banking and money laundering supervisors. The synergy between the European Central Bank and the AMLA would allow the new authority’s staff to perform their core tasks, including the direct supervision of Europe’s largest financial service providers, both more efficiently and more effectively.”

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