On 26 October 2022, the Mayor of Madrid together with the Secretary General of the Treasury and International Financing of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation announced the decision to present the candidacy of Madrid to host the European Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA).
On 20 July 2021, the European Commission presented an ambitious package of legislative proposals to strengthen the EU’s anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) rules. The package also includes a proposal for the creation of a new EU authority to fight money laundering (AMLA).
The new EU-level Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA) will be the central authority coordinating national authorities to ensure that the private sector applies EU rules in a correct and consistent manner. AMLA will also support FIUs (Financial Intelligence Units) in improving their analytical capacity on illicit flows and making financial intelligence a key source for law enforcement.
SPANISH AML SYSTEM: BENCHMARK IN THE FIGHT AGAINST MONEY LAUNDERING
Spain is firmly committed to Anti-money Laundering (AML) and to the preservation of European values and it is a worldwide referent in the field.
Spain has a money laundering prevention system of a high standard, being the only country in the world with the highest qualifications in AML/CFT efficiency. according to the FATF Mutual Evaluation Report of Spain in 2014, and 5th year Follow Up Assessment, of 2019. In particular:
- Spain stands out for its AML supervision. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) points out that “Spain has a powerful surveillance system of its banking sector in the field of the prevention of money laundering and financing of terrorism. Spain’s outstanding record has proved that its procedures of monitoring and financial surveillance have prevented criminals from controlling financial institutions.”
- The Spanish private sector has high compliance standards. “The overall robustness of the preventive measures implemented by Spain’s financial institutions is particularly remarkable in the banking sector.”
- Spain ranks among the top four countries in the world in the production and use of financial intelligence, being, along with The Netherlands, the only European country holding the highest ranking according to FATF 4th round ratings.
In addition, the Spanish model has a robust institutional design, similar to the one proposed for AMLA, where the Commission for the Prevention of Money Laundering and its supporting bodies (SEPBLAC) act as regulator, supervisor, and Financial Intelligence Unit.
Spain also stands out for its top coordination level of the institutions involved in the prevention, supervision, investigation and prosecution of money laundering and terrorist financing, and also counts with strong mechanisms for international cooperation.
The election of Madrid as future Headquarters of AMLA would allow to set up synergies with other agencies and institutions, as well as to recruit specialised and highly qualified staff, while preserving the essential independence of AMLA.
For further information, please visit the website of the City Hall of Madrid: https://www.madrid.es/amla