MEP calls for stronger EU anti-money laundering efforts amid Deutsche Bank withdrawals

Deutsche Bank's cutting of ties with five eurozone countries is embarrassment for European Banking Union, Sven Giegold says

Green MEP Sven Giegold
Green MEP Sven Giegold

The withdrawal of Deutsche Bank from five eurozone countries, including Malta, shows the European Banking Union needs to up its game in the fight against money laundering, Sven Giegold said.

The MEP said it was “an embarrassment” for the EBU when credit institutions withdraw from euro countries because of money laundering allegations.

“A large-scale withdrawal of correspondent banks from Malta and other risky countries would be dangerous, as payments could then increasingly shift to channels that are more difficult to control,” Giegold said.

“Deutsche Bank's withdrawal from business with Malta and other euro countries shows that the Banking Union must finally take the fight against money laundering seriously,” the Greens/EFA group’s financial spokesperson said.

He underlined that the European Commission must not longer watch member states “doing nothing”, but should “initiate infringement proceedings for implementation failures.”

“Comparing the text of the Anti-money Laundering Directive with national legislation only masks the actual shortcomings in the lack of implementation of money laundering controls,” he noted.

In light of this, he said the Commission should replace all, or at least part of the Directive with a regulation, which would be directly applicable in all member states.

He also called on member states to increase their funding of the European Banking Authority come the next EU budget.

“In the forthcoming negotiations on the EU budget, the European member states must increase the funds for the European Banking Authority so that it can fulfil its new role in the fight against money laundering,” he said.

“In the medium term, we need a European Anti-money Laundering Authority for cross-border supervision of financial crime. Effective anti-money laundering is in the interest of all EU member states.”