BRUSSELS: The European Commission said on Wednesday more should be done to counter the multi-billion-euro flow of dirty money in the European Union as major shortcomings have emerged in the way banks and governments handle the issue.
After a recent string of money-laundering scandals at several lenders in the 28-country bloc, the EU reviewed existing rules and practices to identify the main shortfalls and counter illegal flows that Europol estimates could be more than €200 billion (US$222.7 billion) a year.
Under the review, whose results were published on Wednesday, the EU executive commission assessed ten known cases of money laundering at banks which were reported mostly between 2012 and 2018.
The case-studies included lenders that have been at the centre of large scandals such as Danske Bank, Denmark’s biggest bank, which has admitted to having handled through its Estonian branch €200 billion (US$225 billion) of suspicious transactions between 2007 and 2015 – as reported by Reuters last month.
The review also included lenders that have been shut because of money-laundering issues, like Latvia’s ABLV, Malta’s Pilatus Bank and Cyprus’ FBME Bank, and cases of financial crime that led to fines or financial settlements at some of EU’s largest banks, like Deutsche Bank and France’s Societe Generale