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Digital Subscriptions > The Hedge Fund Journal > Issue 121 - March | April 2017 > Are You Ready?

Are You Ready?

Fourth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive’s effective date looms


The Fourth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (EU 2015/849) (AMLD4) is the latest significant upgrade to the EU legislative programme in the area of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF). AMLD4 implements recommendations by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and, on some issues, expands on FATF’s requirements and provides for additional safeguards.

On 5 July 2016, in response to terrorist attacks in Europe in 2015/2016 and the leak of the Panama papers, the EU Commission published proposals (AMLD5) to amend AMLD4. The EU Council Presidency has agreed its negotiating mandate in relation to AMLD5 and has indicated that it seeks to conclude negotiations with the European Parliament by 30 June 2017.

Therefore, although the EU Commission had intended that both AMLD4 and AMLD5 would become effective simultaneously, this clearly will now not happen.

Overview of the principal AMLD4/AMLD5 amendments:

Greater emphasis on the risk based approach: Risk based assessments will be required to be carried out at European, Member State and individual institution level and be kept up to date. The ESAs1 are required to issue joint opinions on AML/CTF risks and the first joint opinion was published on 20 February 2017. Ireland published its first AML/CTF national risk assessment in October 2016; risk ratings were ascribed to 21 subsectors within the financial services industry, including funds and fund administrators, which sector received a “medium high” risk rating. It is intended that subsequent ESA opinions and national assessments will be issued every two years

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