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On Thursday, December 5th, European Union finance ministers backed “plans to strengthen the bloc’s powers to combat money laundering after a series of scandals hit European banks”.

As reported by Reuters, the finance ministers “called on the European Commission to explore the possibility of transferring supervision powers to an EU body and to amend rules to strengthen coordination among national authorities”.

Ministers said it was time to seriously consider the introduction of an EU body “with an independent structure and direct powers” over financial institutions.

The request comes after the publication back in July of a report by the European Commission highlighting how fragmented strategies across the Union are damaging the European financial system’s defence mechanism against dirty money.

In fact, despite money launderers often operating on a trans-national scale, authorities on a national level are most frequently the ones handling the fight against financial crime across Europe. Initiatives aimed at increasing cross-jurisdictional cooperation are fundamental to combat money laundering practices more effectively.

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