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EU Commission proposes EUR 10,000 limit on cash payments

Thursday 22nd July, 2021

The European Commission has presented a package of legislative proposals to strengthen the EU's anti-money laundering and countering terrorism financing (AML/CFT) rules.

The measures aim to enhance the existing EU framework by taking into account new and emerging challenges linked to technological innovation. These include virtual currencies, more integrated financial flows in the Single Market and the global nature of terrorist organisations.

The Commission has proposed an EU-wide limit of €10,000 on large cash payments, as part of this legislative package.

This EU-wide limit is high enough not to put into question the euro as legal tender and recognises the vital role of cash. Limits already exist in about two-thirds of Member States, but amounts vary. National limits under €10,000 can remain in place. Limiting large cash payments makes it harder for criminals to launder dirty money. In addition, providing anonymous crypto-asset wallets will be prohibited, just as anonymous bank accounts are already prohibited by EU AML/CFT rules. The EU said.

Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President for an Economy that works for people, said: “Every fresh money laundering scandal is one scandal too many – and a wake-up call that our work to close the gaps in our financial system is not yet done. We have made huge strides in recent years and our EU AML rules are now among the toughest in the world. But they now need to be applied consistently and closely supervised to make sure they really bite. This is why we are today taking these bold steps to close the door on money laundering and stop criminals from lining their pockets with ill-gotten gains.

At the heart of the legislative package is the creation of a new EU-level Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA). AMLA will be the central authority coordinating national authorities to ensure the private sector applies EU rules.

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