The European Parliament (EP) has adopted new rules to fight money laundering. This is the final step in the adoption of the legislation. The EU Council already approved the text as agreed in the negotiations between both institutions. The changes are set to come into force in the second half of 2017. These new rules are to safeguard the stability of the financial system from money laundering and terrorist financing. Moreover, they will provide authorities with new tools to prevent criminals from legalising illicit proceeds. Krišjānis Kariņš MEP, Parliament's co-negotiator, said: “Authorities need new means to effectively deal with criminals legalizing illicit proceeds by using the anonymity of offshore companies and accounts. The register of beneficial ownership is a powerful tool which will help in the fight against money laundering and blatant tax evasion.”
Illegally-laundered money accounts for as much as 5% of the world's GDP and is a challenge both for the competitiveness of those working legally in the sector as well as for government coffers. The 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive is aimed at limiting the scope of criminal and terrorist activity in Europe.