Insights Blog

The EU Council and European Parliament have reached provisional political agreement in trilogues on the regulation establishing the new central EU AML/CFT supervisor (AMLA), and on the procedure for selecting AMLA’s location.

While AMLA’s main role will be in respect of the financial sector, it will have a supporting role in the AML/CFT supervision of non-financial sectors (including carrying out reviews, investigating possible breaches and issuing non-binding recommendations) and in coordinating financial intelligence units.

Scope of Direct Supervision

While the provisionally agreed text is not yet available, based on the post-trilogue press releases we understand that the first selection process will result in up to 40 groups and entities being directly supervised by AMLA via joint supervisory teams.  The groups and entities that will be considered for inclusion in the first wave of direct supervision will be certain types of credit institutions and financial institutions (including crypto-asset service providers) if they operate cross-border and/or are considered to pose a high ML/TF risk.  Supervision of non-selected entities will primarily be managed at national level.

Selecting AMLA’s Location

The Council and Parliament have agreed that following the closure of the application portal on 10 November 2023, joint public hearings will be arranged to allow presentations by representatives from the nine Member States (including Ireland) that submitted applications to host AMLA.

The Council and Parliament will assess each application according to the selection criteria included in the call for applications, the information provided by the nine Member States in their application forms, the Commission’s assessment of those forms (to be released in January 2024) and the outcome of the joint public hearings.

The final decision will be made at an informal inter-institutional meeting between the Council and the Parliament, with each having an equal number of votes.  Once that vote takes place, AMLA’s location will be included in the AMLA Regulation.  We expect the AMLA Regulation to be published in the Official Journal after the selection process is complete, rather than being published in advance and then subsequently amended to include details of AMLA’s location.

The other Member States that submitted applications to host AMLA are Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania and Austria.

We await the conclusion of trilogue negotiations on the remaining components of the Commission’s AML package: the ‘single rulebook’ regulation (which will contain the bulk of the new framework to ensure a consistent approach across the EU) and the directive.

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