Sven Giegold

Money laundering/Malta: Need for firm actions against dirty money in European banks

The billion-euro scandals and involvement of European banks in money laundering transactions are being debated today (Wednesday 3 October) by MEPs in the European Parliament on the initiative of the Greens/EFA Group. On the same day, the European Commission responds to the money laundering scandal at Pilatus Bank and demands of the Greens/EFA Group to act and commits the Maltese Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) to take tougher action against money laundering.

As was announced today, the Commission intends to issue an opinion which is formally binding on the Maltese FIAU. Should the Maltese FIAU fail to act, the European Banking Authority (EBA) could issue direct orders to Maltese banks to bring them into line with EU rules, such as background checks on customers and other due diligence measures. The Commission has until mid-November to formally deliver its opinion, after which the Maltese FIAU must reply within 10 days and outline the changes it intends to make.

Sven Giegold, economic and financial policy spokesperson for the Greens/EFA Group, comments:

“The EU Commission is listening to the signs of the times and forces the Maltese government to take tougher actions against money laundering. This is a great success for the rule of law in Malta. Investigative media, civil society and the European Parliament have jointly pushed this through.

It is intolerable for European banks to have their fingers in playing with dirty money. Money laundering is the lubricant for corruption, terrorism and unfair competition.

The European Commission must launch infringement proceedings against all EU countries that only half-heartedly or not at all tackle money laundering. At the top of the list is not only Malta, but also Cyprus, Latvia and Estonia. The European Banking Authority needs more money and staff to better detect and prosecute criminal money flows. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker must keep his promise and increase the number of staff in the Commission’s tiny unit against financial crime.

The European Member States and the European Parliament must adopt the EU Commission’s new proposals in a fast-track procedure. The German government must strongly support those who want to dry up the swamp of money laundering as quickly as possible.”



The cases of Danske Bank in Denmark and Estonia, ING in the Netherlands, Pilatus Bank in Malta and ABVL in Latvia show a lack of enforcement of EU rules against money laundering. The Greens/EFA Group has called on the European Commission to act in the Danske Bank money laundering scandal. The European Commission asked the European Banking Supervision to investigate the case and announced in September proposals to strengthen the European Banking Supervision and give it the authority to investigate future illegal financial transactions and enforce rules against money laundering.

Greens/EFA Group demands of EU-Commission to act in the case of Danske Bank:

Live plenary debate with Sven Giegold today (Wednesday, 3. October, early afternoon) TOP 5. on the list:

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