The French government has outlined measures to increase anti money laundering (AML) supervision and boost corporate transparency in an updated action plan.
The plan, which was adopted by a committee of ministers and signed off by Prime Minister Jean Castex, includes five priority ‘axes’ (see box below) and includes measures to strnegthen supervision of both the financial and non-financial sectors.
It also opens up the French beneficial ownership registry to the public. There are measures aimed at making it easier for law enforcement to detect and intercept illicit flows and to block the funds of terrorists and networks or states seeking to acquire weapons of mass destruction.
“With a solid legal framework, France is thus renewing its commitment to the transparency and integrity of its economy and intends to strengthen the overall effectiveness of its action”, a press statement from the government said.”
At-a-glance: the new French AML action plan
1. Prevent risks throughout the territory, by continuing to mobilize all the players. The action plan provides for intensified supervision of the financial and non-financial sectors.
2. Guarantee financial transparency Access to the register of beneficial owners of legal persons, which allows the identification of natural persons behind legal persons, will be open to the public. In addition, transparency requirements on the funding of associations will be increased.
3. Detect, prosecute and sanction The action plan extends the prerogatives of TRACFIN to detect and intercept illicit flows linked to emerging forms of crime. Stricter penal policy guidelines have been set by the Minister of Justice, the implementation of which will be led by a network of advisers set up in all the prosecution services.
4. Impede access to the financial system for terrorists, their networks and states seeking to acquire weapons of mass destruction, in particular by blocking the funds and economic resources of entities seeking to finance them (freezes of ’holdings).
5. Strengthen the coordination of the national policy against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The integration and fluidity of the management of these policies have been consolidated in recent years, in particular since the 2015 attacks. The The Advisory Board for the Fight Against Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (COLB) will ensure the updating of the national analysis of the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing, in conjunction with the private sector and the professionals concerned. The French government is also pledging to “continue to play a leading role in favor of international cooperation on this subject, and in particular, at European level, for the reform of supervision.