EU strengthens protection for finance employees
In a decision on May 14, the EU Council of Ministers agreed on a revised Anti Money-Laundering Directive that strengthens protection for finance employees. The decision is yet another confirmation that the long and hard work of NFU, our affiliates, and our European colleagues in UNI Europa Finance is making a real difference in EU lawmaking.
Rules to prevent money laundering, terrorist financing and other criminal activities has been part of the regulatory reform of the financial sector after the crisis. In practice, these Know Your Customer (KYC) rules mean that finance employees ask certain questions to customers and reports suspicious activities to management and authorities. However, as is shown in the recent NFU report Coping with Compliance, finance employees are exposed to risks when performing these tasks. Insults, threats and even violence are not unusual. As this is a severe and unacceptable work environment problem, the revised rules are a welcome and important step in the right direction.
The NFU report on compliance also shows that the way financial regulation is implemented plays a key role for the situation of finance employees. The work to improve their situation in relation to KYC work must therefore continue – through dialogue with the European supervisory authorities, and with management in financial institutions. All to make sure that finance employees can safely continue making their essential contribution to prevent finance being used for criminal purposes.