New EU regulation on money laundering

The following is a letter sent to local media in the south east of England on Thursday 27 February 2014

New legislation drafted by UK Conservatives in the European Parliament will help law enforcement trace international money laundering.

The new regulation will strengthen rules regarding the information that accompanies all bank and wire transfers, to fill the gaps and loopholes that can be used by criminals and terrorists to launder funds. The law, which mirrors updates to international standards, is expected to enter into force next year.

Under the new the rules money transfers can be traced by law enforcement bodies by enhancing the traceability of transfers within the EU, particularly by providing more information on the payee. And it improves the procedures for verifying transfers made from outside the EU, by requiring payment providers to establish risk-based procedures to determine when necessary to execute or reject a transfer, or to demand more information.

The new rules will encourage the use of electronic money as this is vital to people who do not want to use banks. However, this regulation will seek to encourage people away from cash, which is hard to trace.

Money laundering is synonymous with terrorism and serious organised crime. Internationally, we must have in place a robust response to this challenge and this updated regulation will provide it.