EBA’s new draft Guidelines on the role of AML/CFT compliance officers

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EBA’s new draft Guidelines on the role of AML/CFT compliance officers

The Guidelines aim to establish the whole AML/CFT governance set-up at EU level.

On the 2nd of August 2021, the European Banking Authority (EBA) published new draft Guidelines on the role, responsibilities and tasks of management body and compliance officers responsible of anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism (AML/CFT). Such Guidelines will apply to all financial sector operators within the scope of the AML Directive.

EBA publishes new draft Guidelines on the role of AML/CFT compliance officers and management body

On the 2nd of August 2021, the European Banking Authority (EBA) published new draft Guidelines on the role, responsibilities and tasks of management body and compliance officers responsible of anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism (AML/CFT). Such Guidelines will apply to all financial sector operators within the scope of the AML Directive. The Guidelines were launched alongside a public consultation, which will run until 2nd of November 2021. After the public consultation period, the EBA will review the Guidelines and finalize them.

Rationale

The draft Guidelines recognized that although the requirement for financial sector operators to appoint an AML/CFT compliance officer was established already in the Directive 2015/849 in May 2015, the implementation of such requirement has been uneven across sectors and Member States. The EBA has a legal duty to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing in the EU. For this reason, the Guidelines aim to establish, for the first time at EU level, the whole AML/CFT governance set-up, alongside the specific role, tasks and responsibilities of AML/CFT compliance officers and the management body.

Roles and responsibilities of the AML/CFT compliance officer and the management body

The AML/CFT compliance officer must have a sufficient level of seniority to allow them to propose, at their own initiative, all measures to ensure compliance with AML/CFT to the management body. The compliance officer must also meet certain eligibility requirements to be appointed, and the function can be cumulated with other management functions if appropriate. The overall responsibilities of compliance officers include preparing policies and procedures, monitoring compliance, customers due diligence and reporting to the management body.

The Guidelines also prescribe that if a financial service operator is part of a group, the parent company should appoint an AML/CFT compliance officer to ensure the implementation of group-wide policies regarding AML/CFT.

The compliance officer needs to constantly interact with the management body regarding AML/CFT matters, or in absence of it, with a senior manager. The role of the management body is also delineated in the Guidelines, which state that the management body shall set, approve and oversee the implementation of adequate internal governance policies regarding AML/CFT and be informed of all money laundering and terrorism financing risk-assessments. Also, the management body shall review at least once a year the activity report of the AML/CFT compliance officer amongst other responsibilities.

Proportionality

The provisions of the draft Guidelines must be applied in a proportionate manner, considering the heterogeneity of financial sector operators and their size. Indeed, the Guidelines are drafted to be adjusted to the level of exposure to money laundering and terrorism financing by financial sector operators.

Deloitte can help you navigate the new requirements and support you in the implementation of the new Guidelines.

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