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29 June 20223 minute read

Anti-money laundering: Global perspectives and updates

Governments and corporations in the world’s major financial centers have long talked tough on anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF), but their actions have not always shared the force of their words. A view persists that it has been convenient to welcome foreign money without asking too many prying questions.

But is the tide beginning to turn? Rapid changes due to such global catalysts as the COVID-19 pandemic, recent geopolitical events, and advances in decentralized finance and cryptocurrency have brought this awkward discrepancy into the spotlight. Governments are beginning to realize that they must double down and take increased action to identify, investigate, and sanction illicit financial activities.

What concrete steps are governments and institutions taking to combat AML-CTF in this ever-changing global landscape? What reforms can stakeholders expect to see in the coming years?

Governments around the world are more determined now than ever to curb illicit financing in all forms.

In “The Global Crackdown on Money Laundering,” first published in The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Anti-Money Laundering 2022, DLA Piper partners Dr. Emanuel Ballo, Laura Ford, Katie Hausfeld, and Maurice Burke describe the increasing focus on AML-CTF initiatives in the EU, UK, US, and APAC, and what that means for corporations seeking to comply with these evolving AML-CTF regimes.

The chapter addresses, among other topics:

  • The EU Anti-Money Laundering Authority, a future supervisory authority tasked with ensuring compliance with AML-CTF laws, conducting investigations, issuing instructions and guidance, and imposing sanctions for violators in accord with the EU’s Sixth Anti-Money Laundering Directives
  • Key elements of the UK’s Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022, including a new public register of beneficial owners, reforms to the current Unexplained Wealth Order framework, and strengthened and simplified sanctions legislation
  • Sweeping reforms stemming from the US Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020, proposed rules from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network regarding beneficial ownership and real estate reporting requirements, and a comprehensive, whole-of-government approach to anti-corruption in the first ever US Strategy on Countering Corruption
  • Recent legislation and regulations promoting transparency in corporate ownership and enabling effective AML-CTF investigations and enforcement across the APAC region and
  • Steps governments are taking to detect, investigate, and prosecute criminal misuses of digital assets and funds, including cryptocurrency and other forms of decentralized finance.

Governments around the world are more determined now than ever to curb illicit financing in all forms. As AML-CTF regimes develop in response to new and increased risks of illicit financing, stakeholders should be aware of, and prepared for, what is and is to come.

Download the chapter here.