Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Letters of formal notice

Anti-Money Laundering: Commission urges SPAIN and ITALY to apply correctly the Anti-Money Laundering Directive

The Commission has today sent letters of formal notice to Spain (INFR(2022)2151) and Italy (INFR(2022)2150) on grounds of their incorrect application of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive (4thAML as amended by 5thAML). These Member States had notified a complete transposition of the Directive. Nevertheless, the Commission has identified several instances of incorrect application of the Directive, which refer to the functioning of one of its keystones: the setting up of the central beneficial ownership registers. Enhancing transparency is fundamental to combat the misuse of legal entities. Member States have to ensure that information about the real owners of these legal entities (their beneficial owners) is stored in a central register. Member States can, for that purpose, use a central database which collects beneficial ownership information, or the business register, or another central register. Confidence in financial markets from investors and the general public depends largely on the existence of an accurate disclosure regime that provides transparency in the beneficial ownership and control structures of companies. This is particularly true for corporate governance systems that are characterised by concentrated ownership, such as the ones in the European Union. Without a satisfactory response from these Member States within two months, the Commission may decide to continue the infringement procedure and send a reasoned opinion.

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