The regulatory package now presented by the EU Commission to combat money laundering can contribute to clear regulations and guidelines for the whole of Europe.
The German Trade Association (HDE) therefore rates the suggestions as positive in principle. The reallocation of the legal basis as an EU regulation that applies directly across Europe and the creation of a European authority can lead to a uniform approach to criminal money laundering and terrorist financing.
Since three ordinances and a guideline have to be coordinated that meet the objective of combating money laundering, the HDE believes that the details now matter. “New bureaucracy and complex processes must be avoided. The identification of acting persons and beneficial owners as well as the reporting of any suspicious cases should be very easy for dealers ”, says HDE payment expert Ulrich Binnebößel. The aim must be to set up clear and easy-to-use guidelines for the obligated parties.
However, the HDE considers it questionable whether the proposed upper cash limit of 10,000 euros will serve an effective purpose. “Even today, companies that want to accept cash payments in this amount have to carry out an extensive risk analysis in advance and document the results,” continues Binnebößel. Every goods dealer is one of the obliged entities. Each of them must also report suspected money laundering immediately, regardless of the amount, and have reporting channels in place and training staff.
“Limiting cash payments, regardless of the amount, always sends a signal and damages the reputation of cash,” emphasizes Binnebößel. In addition, countries with existing cash limits showed that a reduction in money laundering activity could not be reliably proven. Should there actually be individual industries with a high potential for money laundering, it would be appropriate to regulate them in a targeted manner. “The expansion of cashless payment alternatives is also important,” continues Binnebößel. Today’s card payment methods often have their weaknesses for large amounts if unknown limits have been set for the buyer or card blocks have been made due to unusual shopping behavior. “A cash limit is not necessary and its effectiveness is questionable. In the end, however, it will only be noticeable in a few places in everyday life, ”says Binnebößel. (HDE)