Draft Directive on cross-border law enforcement access to bank account registries
On 20 July 2021, the European Commission published a draft Directive as regards access of Member State competent authorities to centralized bank account registries through the single access point.
Article 32a of the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive requires Member States to put in place centralized automated mechanisms, such as central registers or central electronic data retrieval systems, to allow for the identification of any natural or legal persons holding or controlling payment accounts, bank accounts and safe-deposit boxes. Directive (EU) 2019/1153 requires Member States to designate those authorities that are competent for the prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution of criminal offences in order for them to access and search the centralized automated mechanisms. The proposed Directive will allow designated authorities to establish quickly whether an individual holds bank accounts in other member states, without having to request to all their counterparts in all EU member states.