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New EU rules to combat money-laundering adopted

• EU limit on large cash payments up to EUR 10 000

• Due diligence rules to apply to football clubs and agents from 2029

• New EU Agency to directly oversee riskiest entities

The European Parliament has adopted a package of laws strengthening the EU’s toolkit to fight money-laundering and terrorist financing.

The new laws ensure that people with a legitimate interest, including journalists, media professionals, civil society organisations, competent authorities, and supervisory bodies, will have immediate, unfiltered, direct and free access to beneficial ownership information held in national registries and interconnected at EU level. In addition to current information, the registries will also include data going back at least five years.

The laws also give Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) more powers to analyse and detect money laundering and terrorist financing cases as well as to suspend suspicious transactions.

Wide-reaching due diligence

The new laws include enhanced due diligence measures and checks on customers’ identity, after which so-called obliged entities (e.g. banks, assets and crypto assets managers or real and virtual estate agents) have to report suspicious activities to FIUs and other competent authorities. From 2029, top-tier professional football clubs involved in high-value financial transactions with investors or sponsors, including advertisers and the transfer of players will also have to verify their customers’ identities, monitor transactions, and report any suspicious transaction to FIUs.

The legislation also contains enhanced vigilance provisions regarding ultra-rich individuals (total wealth worth at least EUR 50 000 000, excluding their main residence), an EU-wide limit of EUR 10 000 on cash payments, except between private individuals in a non-professional context, and measures to ensure compliance with targeted financial sanctions and avoid sanctions being circumvented.

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