Starting in 2024, theEU will have a new Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA), the most significant innovation in the anti-money laundering package proposed by the European Commission last year. 

With the legislation currently moving through the European Parliament, we set up a spreadsheet to keep track of the multiple proposals various parties are making for AMLA. 

The result? There are a lot of new expectations and expanded roles being placed on the future institution - which had an ambitious brief to begin with.

European Parliament committees alone have recommended over 30 new and/or expanded tasks for AMLA. For example, it is expected to: 

  • Play a role in conducting peer reviews of beneficial ownership central registers 
  • Develop state-of-the-art technologies for Financial Intelligence Units 
  • Develop a structured system for exchanges between supervisors 
  • Set up secure whistleblowing channels for the reporting of breaches of anti-money laundering regulations 

Considering the state of anti-money laundering in the EU (and globally), it is unsurprising that European legislators are taking the opportunity to plug some gaps. However, the growing impression is that this one institution will be expected to address as many of the EU’s systemic weaknesses as possible.

With this approach raising obvious questions of feasibility and resourcing, there is at least one area where the private sector can help reduce the load. 

In future, all financial institutions operating in the EU will be assessed via  a single supervisory methodology, to be developed by the future AMLA and implemented by national authorities. 

Several companies operating in the EU, including Elucidate, are already applying financial crime risk scores to banks - comparable to credit risk ratings. Given the growing demand for quantitative risk measures, financial crime risk metrics will become a market standard in coming years.  

This flow of data could become a valuable input for national authorities, which currently manage to assess just a small fraction of the banks under their oversight in detail each year. Both national authorities and AMLA could enhance their capacity to monitor systemic risks in real time, while increasing incentives for banks to strengthen their anti-money laundering systems. 

Looking at the expectations being placed on the new AMLA, taking advantage of market innovations like this one will be essential if it is to meet its goals.