The capacity of the new entity to carry out these tasks is enhanced by a recent agreement between the ECB and some 50 national authorities responsible for the MRSA or the CFT. This agreement provides a practical framework for the disclosure of information discovered during their surveillance activities and the exchange of information that may be of regulatory importance to national authorities. It should also help to remove the uncertainties surrounding the respective responsibilities of the ECB and national authorities. In accordance with the fifth amL directive, the ECB signed an agreement in January 2019 on the practical modalities of information exchange with some 50 national authorities for environmental institutions/CFT in Europe. The agreement provides for a structured exchange of information between the ECB and these authorities. This means that the ECB will facilitate the timely exchange of information collected from national authorities as part of its amL/CFT direct monitoring missions, for which information is relevant and necessary to carry out its role. Conversely, the ECB will receive information from national authorities for amL/CFT, which can have prudential effects. The ECB`s supervisory authorities will assess the information, integrate it into their monitoring activities and, if necessary, take appropriate monitoring measures. In order to improve cooperation between the two groups of supervisors, the ECB, through the recent amendment to the AML Directive, has imposed the signing of an agreement defining the practical modalities of the exchange of information with the AML/CFT supervisory authorities of the credit institutions and financial institutions of the European Economic Area.

The agreement was signed in January of this year. Since then, the ECB has been exchanging information in this context. Our initial experiences have shown that it is particularly important to put in place robust formal procedures and to exchange information safely only if it is based on strong justification and on the basis of well-defined criteria of relevance. All of this is necessary to ensure that the rights of banks subject to prudential supervision are protected. There is a narrow line between allowing an adequate flow of information and ensuring the confidentiality of that information. The agreement of the Council of the EU will serve as the basis for more formal legal orders, which come into force early next year, a widely respected initiative by watchdog groups and partner world powers, after embarrassing Baltic and Nordic banking scandals overshadowed the perception of a strong EU fight against money laundering and counter-terrorism (AML/CFT), which was overshadowed by money laundering estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars linked to high-risk regions such as Russia. This undermines the confidence of European citizens in the financial system and, of course, the EU cannot remain powerless. The most recent and striking example is the establishment of the Danske Bank in Estonia. Unfortunately, the money laundering signals were not intercepted by the various supervisory authorities who defined controls and the general procedure differently. The influx of questionable payments between 2007 and 2015 amounts to around 200 billion euros, many of which are “suspicious”. The ING agreement with the Dutch authority also contributed to the “squeeze” of the EBA. Finally, a real scandal for the EU was the discovery by the US authorities of the circulation of Russian money laundering by Latvian banks.