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The Fourth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive

Impact on investment funds

The Fourth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (EU 2015/849) (AMLD4), which came into force on 26 June 2015, will replace the Third Anti-Money Laundering Directive (2005/60/EC) and must be transposed into the national law of member states by 26 June 2017. On 5 July 2016, in response to terrorist attacks in Europe in 2015/2016 and the leak of the Panama papers, the European Commission (Commission) published proposals to amend AMLD4 including bringing the transposition date forward to 1 January 2017. At this point, it is difficult to envisage how this earlier target date might realistically be met, particularly in view of the fact that the proposed amending directive has not yet been finalised.

AMLD4 is the latest significant upgrade to the EU legislative programme in this area which commenced in 1991 and has the aim of further strengthening the EU’s defences against money laundering and terrorist financing; and ensuring the soundness, integrity and stability, and confidence in the financial system as a whole. AMLD4 implements recommendations by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which is considered a global reference for rules against money laundering and terrorist financing. On some issues, AMLD4 expands on FATF’s requirements and provides for additional safeguards. AMLD4 is a minimum harmonising directive, providing member states with the scope to adopt more stringent provisions.

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