In response to a series of terrorist attacks in Europe in 2016, the EU Directive 2018/843 (5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive) amending the EU Directive 2015/849 (4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive) was adopted in 2018. It tightens EU rules on the prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing and has to be transposed into national law by the member states by 10 January 2020. The amendments contained in the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive include, among others:
- the expansion of the list of obliged persons to include, inter alia, virtual currency exchange platforms and wallet providers;
- the opening of the transparency register to the public;
- lowering the identification threshold for credit card holders from 250 EUR to 150 EUR;
- the ban on banks keeping anonymous safe-deposit boxes; and
- strengthening cooperation between central reporting bodies to improve information exchange.
In Germany, the amendments contained in the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive will be implemented by the Act Implementing the Amending Directive to the Fourth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive and the German Anti-Money Laundering Act (Geldwäschegesetz) will be amended accordingly. The law implementing the Amending Directive to the Fourth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive will enter into force on 1 January 2020.