Joint industry letter on proposed lowering of beneficial ownership thresholds
Brussels, 27 September 2022– The European Banking Federation (EBF), the European Savings and Retail Banking Group, the European Association of Co-operative Banks, the European Association of Public Banks, and the European Fund and Asset Management Association sign a joint letter on the Parliament’s proposal to lower the threshold for determining beneficial ownership to 5%.
The EBF and the co-signatories welcome the European Commission’s proposal to introduce a new harmonised Anti-Money Laundering Regulation which would make strides enhancing the resilience of the European financial sector against attempts by criminals to use the EU to launder the proceeds of illicit activities.
We fully agree with the Parliament in its draft report that the concept of beneficial ownership is crucial to increasing transparency of complex corporate structures and ease compliance with AML/CFT rules. However, we do not agree that reducing the percentage threshold that serves as an indication of ownership of a legal entity from 25% to 5% would reduce opportunities for transparency rules to be circumvented. We have significant concerns that such an amendment would be of little benefit in identifying controlling interest holders and would instead place a disproportionate burden on obliged entities while not helping to achieve the desired result of preventing money laundering.
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About the EBF:
The European Banking Federation is the voice of the European banking sector, bringing together national banking associations from across Europe. The EBF is committed to a thriving European economy that is underpinned by a stable, secure and inclusive financial ecosystem, and to a flourishing society where financing is available to fund the dreams of citizens, businesses and innovators everywhere.