Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 130
Alfred Sant (S&D)

E-005675/2017
Subject: Collateral effects arising from recent anti-money laundering standards

In the wake of diverse scandals of money laundering involving big European banks, regulators have
taken more interest in this issue and elaborated severe rules and disincentivising fines. Selfrestrictions
appeared as banks started to pull away from clients on which they had doubts. These
moves had the effect to dry up financial crimes’ channels but concomitantly had the perverted effect to
dry up other legal channels that were deemed highly risky.
Small money transfers’ companies and charities have been hit hard by this disproportionate fear of
risk. As banks broke off the latter entities, poor countries and conflict zones have been abandoned at
the end, as they are the ultimate benefiters of the money transfers. Some deserved it, some are
unfoundedly suffering.
Therefore:
– How are the European anti-money laundering rules ensuring that such collateral damages are
avoided?
– Does the Commission foresee a system where payments would be easier to trace in order for
deserving customers not to be abandoned by banks?
– Does the Commission intend to elaborate a system, it could be a software according to some
experts, serving in spotting the suspicious crime patterns and therefore serving in more easily
differentiating them from legal money transfers?

EN E-005675/2017 Answer given by Ms Jourová on behalf of the Commission (27.11.2017)

Over the past several years, changes in correspondent banking have put pressure on remittance service providers’ ability to access banking services. The Commission actively promotes capacity-building activities to enhance transparent and cost-efficient remittance markets, to improve overall anti-money laundering compliance in jurisdictions most affected by de-risking and coordinate public-private dialogue on the issue. Such activities are supported both at international level and directly by the Commission through funding schemes.

In the context of information sharing and due diligence, there are a number of potential tools that could simplify financial institutions’ due diligence requirements and in turn reduce compliance costs. For example, big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning could improve the detection of suspicious activities, especially when applied to large numbers of remittance transactions.

All data required by the Honourable Member in respect of the Commission’s actions to complete the EU framework on tracing transactions are publicly available on the Commission website [1].

[1] http://ec.europa.eu/justice/newsroom/criminal/news/160202_en.htm

E-005675/2017

Suġġett: L-effetti kollaterali tal-istandards riċenti tal-ġlieda kontra l-ħasil tal-flus

Wara diversi skandli ta’ ħasil tal-flus li kienu jinvolvu banek Ewropej kbar, ir-regolaturi ħadu interess akbar f’din il-kwistjoni u introduċew regoli aktar stretti u multi ta’ diżinċentiv. L-awtorestrizzjoni żdiedet, hekk kif il-banek bdew jinqatgħu minn mal-klijenti li kellhom dubji dwarhom. Dawn il-mossi, filwaqt li xxuttaw il-kanali tal-kriminalità finanzjarja, kellhom l-effett sekondarju li xxuttaw ukoll kanali legali oħra li kienu meqjusa riskjużi ħafna.
Kumpaniji żgħar li jittrasferixxu l-flus u organizzazzjonijiet tal-karità ntlaqtu ħażin minn dan il-biżà ta’ riskju sproporzjonat. Peress li l-banek qatgħu r-rabtiet tagħhom minn ma’ dawn l-entitajiet, pajjiżi fqar u f’żoni ta’ kunflitt spiċċaw abbandunati, peress li dawn huma l-benefiċjarji aħħarin ta’ tali trasferimenti ta’ flus. Filwaqt li xi wħud ħaqqhom, oħrajn qed isofru mingħajr ġustifikazzjoni.
— Ir-regoli Ewropej ta’ kontra l-ħasil tal-flus kif jistgħu jiżguraw li tali ħsara kollaterali tiġi evitata?
— Beħsiebha l-Kummissjoni tintroduċi sistema li biha l-pagamenti jkunu jistgħu jiġu traċċati b’mod aktar faċli, biex il-klijenti onesti ma jiġux abbandunati mill-banek?
— Beħsiebha tiżviluppa sistema, li skont xi esperti tista’ tkun programm tas-softwer, li sservi biex tidentifika xejriet kriminali suspettużi u tiddistingwihom aktar faċilment minn trasferimenti ta’ flus legali?

MT E-005675/2017 Tweġiba mogħtija mis-Sinjura Jourová f’isem il-Kummissjoni (27.11.2017)

Matul l-aħħar ftit snin, bidliet f’servizzi bankarji korrispondenti għamlu pressjoni fuq l-abbiltà tal-fornituri tas-servizz ta’ rimessi li jaċċessaw is-servizzi bankarji. Il-Kummissjoni b’mod attiv tippromwovi attivitajiet ta’ bini tal-kapaċità biex jissaħħu s-swieq tar-rimessi trasparenti u kosteffikaċi, għat-titjib ġenerali tal-konformità kontra l-ħasil tal-flus f’ġurisdizzjonijiet l-aktar milquta bis-saħħa tad-derisking u tal-koordinazzjoni tad-djalogu bejn is-settur pubbliku u dak privat dwar din il-kwistjoni. Dawn l-attivitajiet huma appoġġati kemm fuq livell internazzjonali kif ukoll direttament mill-Kummissjoni permezz ta’ skemi ta’ finanzjament.

Fil-kuntest tal-kondiviżjoni tal-informazzjoni u d-diliġenza dovuta, hemm għadd ta’ għodod potenzjali li jistgħu jissimplifikaw ir-rekwiżiti ta’ diliġenza dovuta tal-istituzzjonijiet finanzjarji u b’hekk jitnaqqsu l-ispejjeż tal-konformità. Pereżempju, il-big data, l-intelliġenza artifiċjali, u t-tagħlim bl-użu tal-magni jistgħu jtejbu l-identifikazzjoni ta’ attivitajiet suspettużi, speċjalment meta jiġu applikati għal għadd kbir ta’ tranżazzjonijiet ta’ bgħit ta’ flus.

Id-data kollha mitluba mill-Onorevoli Membru fir-rigward tal-azzjonijiet tal-Kummissjoni biex jitlesta l-qafas tal-UE dwar tranżazzjonijiet ta’ traċċar huma disponibbli pubblikament fuq is-sit web tal-Kummissjoni [2].

2. http://ec.europa.eu/justice/newsroom/criminal/news/160202_mt.htm