Powerful EU lawmakers are calling for a major reform of anti-money laundering controls across the continent in response to the ‘scandal’ of the FinCEN files, a global survey by BuzzFeed News and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
The investigation revealed how Western banking giants move billions of dollars in suspicious transactions, enriching themselves and their shareholders while facilitating the actions of terrorists, kleptocrats and drug pioneers. The documents shed light on suspicious transactions involving a number of Europe’s largest banks, including HSBC, German Bankand Commerzbank.
At a Thursday session of the European Parliament in Brussels, lawmakers debated ways to better fight money laundering.
Dubravka Šuica, Vice-President of the European Commission for Democracy and Demography, said European Union countries “fall short” to tackle global money laundering networks by acting alone , and must “join forces to make the system less open.” abuse.”
“The FinCEN files illustrate the vast scale of the problem,” Šuica said. “The European Union must act decisively and collectively with the European approach to surveillance.”
Several members of Parliament called for a centralized and uniform European framework to fight money laundering. Eero Heinäluoma, treasurer of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, said current anti-money laundering efforts are like “Swiss cheese full of holes” and called for a “uniform regulatory framework “.
“Despite these alarms, banks still often execute these transactions. And once again, it is thanks to the excellent work of… journalists that the scandal is revealed, ”he declared. “This shows once again that the existing money laundering system simply does not work.”
Sven Giegold, the spokesman for economic and financial policy of the Greens / European Free Alliance in the European Parliament, echoed his parliamentary counterpart and criticized the current anti-money laundering measures in Europe , adding that a centralized system is needed.
“The commission observed without acting as a money laundering authority,” he said.
Last week, the European Council on External Relations said that in light of the FinCEN files, European countries should “think carefully” about reforming anti-money laundering frameworks.
“They should recognize that they have not been more successful in forming partnerships with financial giants on financial regulation than they would be in forming partnerships with energy giants on climate policy.” , said the European think tank.