6AMLD –it is here this week – may the 3rd be with you
On June 3, 2021
The EU's Sixth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (6AMLD) enters into force for financial institutions and companies, bringing a whole host of compliance-related changes with it.
Below are the critical headlines:-
Clarifies Predicate Offenses
- 6AMLD attempts to update, harmonize and clarify what constitutes a predicate offence for money laundering across all EU member states.
- It lists, then defines, 22 different crimes that would explicitly now be components of money laundering.
- Particularly of note is the inclusion of cybercrime and environmental crime alongside more traditional money laundering predicate offences — a decision that serves to underscore how concerned regulators are about these rapidly growing threats.
Widens Scope of Money Laundering Offenses
- Building on the above, 6AMLD also formally recognized:
- The conversion or transfer and the concealment of illicit property as a money laundering offence,
- The conscious acquisition, possession, or use of such property.
- Acts such as self-laundering and aiding and abetting a money launderer
Extends Corporate Liability
- Businesses — not just individuals — can now be considered liable for money laundering offences, and law enforcement can pursue the prosecution of both individuals and businesses at the same time.
- And those in senior roles within the business can fail to prevent money laundering by junior staff members on their watch.
Introduces Tougher Punishments
- 6AMLD steps up the maximum prison sentence for money laundering.
- Penalties include up to four years (up from one), fines, professional disqualification, exclusion from public benefits, and, for businesses, forced closure.
- While the harmonized definitions should provide a bit of clarity and relief, the number and breadth of the predicate offences, combined with additional liability exposure and harsher punishments, inevitably increase the risk exposure.