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9 November 2023

Financial markets

Germany applies to host the EU’s future Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA) in Frankfurt

The Federal Ministry of Finance, the Hessian state government and the city of Frankfurt have announced Germany’s official application to host the EU’s future Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA).

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner stated: “The fight against money laundering is a top priority for Germany. As continental Europe’s largest financial hub and the headquarters of the European Central Bank, Frankfurt is the perfect place to set up the new EU Anti-Money Laundering Authority. Our ambition is to play a pioneering role in this area, working together with our international partners to ensure fair competition, social cohesion and the integrity of our financial system. Locating AMLA in Frankfurt would be a strong signal of the EU’s determination to lead the global fight against money laundering, and would help ensure that this goal is achieved swiftly.”

Lucia Puttrich, Minister for European Affairs for the state of Hesse, commented: “Frankfurt’s official application marks the beginning of the final phase of our efforts. Frankfurt has submitted an exciting and competitive plan which shows that all levels of government in Germany are supporting the application. We’ve done our homework, and we will keep working to promote Frankfurt and its advantages in Brussels and other European capitals.”

Hesse’s Finance Minister Michael Boddenberg emphasised: “With Frankfurt, we’re offering AMLA a location which takes the fight against money laundering very seriously: Hesse has long played an active role in the Darmstadt Working Group, which is pioneering anti-money laundering efforts in the non-financial sector. In addition, the major Frankfurt-based banks are committed to the Anti Financial Crime Alliance – a public-private partnership for strategic cooperation on combating money laundering. In Frankfurt, AMLA and the ECB can enjoy optimal mutual synergies – an advantage that only exists here. This would give a lasting boost to AML and banking supervision. The two institutions also have overlapping responsibilities in emerging areas such as the possible introduction of a digital euro.”

Frankfurt Mayor Mike Josef said: “With its excellent infrastructure, Frankfurt represents the ideal location for coordinating the fight against money laundering in Europe. As a leading financial centre and home of the ECB, our city offers AMLA all the resources it needs to function effectively from day one. Our position in the heart of Europe means that it’s possible to reach any European metropolis within a few hours. Additionally, Frankfurt is an international city that offers an attractive quality of life and working conditions for AMLA staff and their families.”

With Frankfurt, Germany can offer the perfect location for coordinating the fight against money laundering in Europe:

  • Frankfurt is the EU’s foremost financial hub. Many of the banks that will be subject to direct antimoney laundering supervision by AMLA are located here.
  • The other EU member states and the EU institutions in Brussels can be reached quickly and easily.
  • Frankfurt offers close proximity to the ECB.
  • The Rhine-Main region has a large pool of talent, with more than 250,000 students, countless IT specialists, bankers and lawyers, plus over 40 research institutes and universities.
  • Germany possesses extensive experience in helping to set up European and international institutions, such as the ECB’s Single Supervisory Mechanism or the International Sustainability Standards Board. Germany’s broad-based application, which builds on this know-how, will ensure that AMLA can function effectively from day one.
  • The neutral data custodian EuroDaT, which was established by the state of Hesse, is another of the region’s unique assets. A use case to improve the combating of money laundering is currently being developed in cooperation with several German banks.

The German federal government, the state of Hesse and the city of Frankfurt will provide financial support totalling €10 million for the establishment of AMLA in Frankfurt. The funds will be provided over a period of five years, with each stakeholder contributing one third.

The federal government, the Hesse state government and the city of Frankfurt jointly strongly support the legislative package to fight money laundering and the financing of terrorism that was proposed by the European Commission in 2021. AMLA will take on a leading role within the EU in combating money laundering, both in the area of supervision and cooperation with the Financial Intelligence Units. Together with the competent national authorities, AMLA will ensure that legislation is implemented uniformly across the EU. Cooperation between the national supervisory bodies will be enhanced. AMLA will have all the necessary powers in the area of supervision and standard-setting, as well as highly skilled staff who will take the EU’s fight against money laundering to the next level.