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22 February 2024

Financial markets

Success for the European financial centre Frankfurt: Germany wins the race to host the EU’s Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA)

Joint press release by the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Hessian state government and the city of Frankfurt

Frankfurt aerial view BildVergroessern
Source:  Getty Images / Philipp Zechner / EyeEm

The EU’s new Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA) will be based in Frankfurt. In a joint vote, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union decided in favour of Germany’s financial hub. In the negotiations to establish AMLA, the Federal Ministry of Finance had pushed successfully to increase the new authority’s powers. The choice of Frankfurt as AMLA headquarters reinforces this commitment.

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner stated: “The federal government did its utmost to promote Frankfurt as the future seat of the new European Anti-Money Laundering Authority. With AMLA we want to make Frankfurt even stronger as a financial hub, because the competition has become fiercer and the city has great potential that has yet to be tapped. Combating financial crime is a top priority for us. Together with our international partners, we want to ensure fair competition and fight illegal practices. Frankfurt is a strong, suitable and sustainable location for AMLA. As an agency with a European perspective, AMLA will take the fight against money-laundering to the next level.”

Hesse’s Minister-President Boris Rhein commented: “The city, state and federal government forged a united campaign for this outcome, and we have succeeded in bringing AMLA to Frankfurt. After our success in the competition to serve as headquarters for the International Sustainability Standards Board, this demonstrates once again: when all of the levels in our federal system join together as one, Germany is strong. We are pleased that the Council and Parliament saw Frankfurt’s advantages and accepted our bid. It is a great honour for our state of Hesse to serve as AMLA’s future home.”

Frankfurt mayor Mike Josef added: “Selecting Frankfurt as AMLA headquarters is the perfect decision, because our city offers ideal cultural and infrastructural conditions. Our economy is dynamic, our quality of life is high, and everything you need is within easy reach. Frankfurt provides the ideal home, in the heart of Europe, for people from 180 different countries. We extend a heartfelt welcome to AMLA, and to all of our future fellow residents.”

AMLA will significantly strengthen Frankfurt’s position as a financial centre. Frankfurt is the ideal location to coordinate the fight against money laundering in Europe:

  • Frankfurt is continental Europe’s largest financial hub.
  • Frankfurt is the headquarters of the European Central Bank.
  • Frankfurt offers fast, efficient and sustainable rail connections to Brussels and the EU institutions.
  • The Rhine-Main region has a large pool of talent, with more than 250,000 students, countless professionals working in the IT, banking and legal sectors, and over 40 research institutes and universities.

The German federal government, the state of Hesse and the city of Frankfurt will provide financial support for the establishment of AMLA in Frankfurt. On top of the €10 million which has already been committed, a further €10 million will now be provided for staffing.

AMLA will take on a leading role within the EU in combating money laundering: this applies to both supervision and to cooperation among 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. The new authority will start operations this year and be fully up and running by 2027.