Fifth AML Directive adopted by EU Parliament

ABBL Published 27.04.2018

The fifth AML Directive has been adopted by the European Parliament on 19 April 2018.

The main changes to the fourth AML Directive involve:

  1. Enhanced access to beneficial owners’ registers: Registers of beneficial owners’ companies (operating within the EU) will be made publicly accessible and will be interconnected. Registers of beneficial ownerships of trusts and similar legal arrangements will be accessible upon request only to those who can demonstrate a legitimate interest and will be limited to essential data;
  2. Application of the same rules to virtual currency exchange platforms and custodian wallet providers, which will be required to apply customers due diligence controls;
  3. Electronic identification of customers will be allowed, by means of secure, remote or electronic identification process as long as they are regulated, recognised and approved by national authorities;
  4. Enhanced scrutiny of transactions where they are complex, unusually large, show unusual patterns or do not have an apparent economic purpose;
  5. Reduction of the existing €250 threshold for anonymous prepaid cards to €150 when used face-to-face and obligation to identify the customer in the case of remote payment transactions where the transaction amount exceeds €50;
  6. Setting-up by all Member States of either a national register of bank and payment accounts containing the name of the account holder, or a central data retrieval system allowing the authorities access to the same information.

The text now need to be formally endorsed by the Council and should be signed by the two co-legislators during the 28-31 May Plenary meeting.

Member States will have until prospectively December 2019 to transpose these new rules in their national legislation.


By Catherine Bourin, ABBL Member of the Management Board



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