EU-flash: Fighting terrorist financing and the 5th Anniversary of the European Banking Authority

09/02/2016

On February 3, the European Commission presented an Action Plan to strengthen the fight against terrorist financing. A couple of days later Andria Enria, Chairperson of the European Banking Authority, touched on the challenges that still lie ahead for the Authority in 2016.

Below you can find a brief summary of these topics: 

Action plan to fight terrorist financing

On 3 February 2016, the European Commission presented its Action Plan to strengthen the fight against the financing of terrorism. Through concrete measures, it will adapt or propose additional rules to deal with new threats. A number of concrete measures will be put into practice by the Commission immediately, others will follow in the months to come. All the actions presented should be carried out by the end of 2017.

The Action Plan will focus on two main strands of action:

  • Tracing terrorists through financial movements and preventing them from moving funds or other assets;
  • Disrupting the sources of revenue used by terrorist organisations, by targeting their capacity to raise funds.

A number of targeted amendments to the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive will be proposed at the latest by the end of the second quarter of 2016, in following areas:

  • Ensuring a high level of safeguards for financial flows from high risk third countries;
  • Enhancing the powers of EU Financial Intelligence Units and facilitating their cooperation;
  • Tackling terrorist financing risks linked to virtual currencies;
  • Tackling risks linked to anonymous pre-paid instruments.

Other measures will include the improvement of the efficiency of the EU’s transposition of United Nations asset freezing measures and accessibility of United Nations listings to EU financial institutions and economic operators; the assessment of the need for a specific EU regime for freezing of terrorist assets; a comprehensive common definition of money laundering offences and sanctions across the EU and a legislative proposal on illicit cash movements.

More information can be found here.

EBA 5th Anniversary Conference

At the occasion of the European Banking Authorities’ (EBA) 5th Anniversary Conference, Andrea Enria, Chairperson of the EBA, touched on the EBA's achievements in the last five years and the challenges that still lie ahead for the Authority in 2016.

The most important challenges touched upon were:

  • Monitoring the single rule book and improving proportionality: The EBA will focus on the calibration of the leverage ratio and on improving the consistency and reliability of risk-weighted assets calculated with banks’ internal models. Also building a better understanding of the effects the reforms are having on bank structures, business models and risk taking has been put forward as a priority.
  • Completing the adjustment in bank’s balance sheets: Supervisors will maintain pressure on banks to actively manage non-performing assets and restore lending capacity. The determination of the Minimum Requirements for Eligible Liabilities by resolution authorities will be a key element driving the adjustment.
  • Digital banking and consumer protection: The EBA has already worked on virtual currencies and crowdfunding. The mandates contained in the second Payment Services Directive will allow to focus even more on this topic.

You can find Andrea Enria’s speech here

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