On 5th October, law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse published an article saying that on 12th September, the European Parliament approved a proposal for the EU’s latest piece of AML legislation, the 6th AML Directive (6MLD). Significant is Article 7 of the directive, whereby any company operating in an EU member state can be held criminally liable for failing to prevent money laundering – but only applies corporate liability to companies operating in regulated sectors, such as banking. If/when enacted, Member States would have 2 years to implement the new rules (and states already have until 10th January 2020 to implement the 5th AML Directive). In the light of Brexit, the article discusses what are the implications for British businesses doing business in or with the EU. It asks how significant are the changes in the new proposed Directive, including, in addition to Article 7 mentioned above –
- the harmonisation of 22 predicate offences which may generate criminal property for the purposes of committing a money laundering offence;
- a maximum term of 4 years’ imprisonment for anyone found guilty of money laundering offences within EU Member States – thus aligning penalties across the EU; and
- an offence for a business of failure to supervise if an individual representing or employed by it is convicted of a money laundering offence.