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ESAs Consult On Guidelines On Cooperation And Information Exchange For AML/CFT Supervision Purposes

Date 08/11/2018

The Joint Committee of the three European Supervisory Authorities (EBA, EIOPA and ESMA - ESAs) launched today a public consultation on draft Guidelines on the cooperation and information exchange between competent authorities supervising credit and financial institutions for the purposes of Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) supervision. The draft Guidelines are part of the ESAs' wider work on fostering a common approach to AML/CFT within the EU.

Cooperation and exchange of information between competent authorities responsible for overseeing AML/CFT compliance of credit and other financial institutions is an essential part of an effective AML/CFT regime. EU AML/CFT legislation establishes an obligation for competent authorities to cooperate and exchange information, but it does not set out in detail how this should be achieved.

Recent events have illustrated that in the absence of a common framework, cooperation and information exchange between prudential and AML/CFT competent authorities for the purposes of AML/CFT supervision can sometimes be difficult. To address this, the ESAs have agreed to develop these Guidelines, which clarify the practical modalities of this process both domestically and on a cross-border basis.

The Guidelines propose the creation of AML/CFT colleges of supervisors and set out the rules governing their establishment and operation. In particular, AML/CFT colleges should be set up whenever three or more competent authorities from different Member States are responsible for the AML/CFT supervision of the same credit or financial institution and its establishments, and the frequency and intensity of each AML/CFT college should be determined on a risk-sensitive basis.

As information available to AML/CFT supervisors may also be relevant for prudential supervisors and vice versa, the Guidelines propose gateways to ensure that prudential supervisors can participate as observers in AML/CFT colleges, and that information from AML/CFT college meetings is available to colleges of prudential supervisors. 

Where the conditions for setting up an AML/CFT college are not met, the Guidelines propose that supervisors will continue their cooperation and information exchange on a bilateral basis and formalise this process. 

Consultation process

Comments to the draft Guidelines can be sent by clicking on the "send your comments" button on the EBA's consultation page. The deadline for the submission of comments is 08 February 2019.

All contributions received will be published following the close of the consultation, unless requested otherwise.

The ESAs will hold a public hearing on the draft Guidelines, which will take place at the EBA premises in London on 18 December 2018 from 14:00 to 16:30 UK time.

Legal Basis and background

Article 16 of Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010, Article 16 of Regulation (EU) No 1094/2010 and Article 16 of Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010, mandate the ESAs to issue guidelines in order to foster consistent, efficient and effective supervisory practices. Furthermore, Article 57(2) of the aforementioned regulations provides that the Joint Committee of the three ESAs should ensure cross-sectoral consistency, in particular regarding measures combating money laundering.

The supervisory concept of colleges is not new. In the prudential context, colleges already provide a permanent structure for cooperation and information exchange between supervisors from different Member States supervising the same credit or financial institution. The concept has been adapted to the needs of AML/CFT supervision.