The Professional Obligations Committee handles topics related to the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing. The international nature of the Luxembourg banking sector means that products, service and activities offered by financial institutions are inherently cross-border in character, demanding a high level of vigilance in the area of combatting abuse.
The Committee has several Working Groups dealing with specific topics, and provides information to the Compliance Forum and the Data Protection Forum.
In 2020, the ABBL actively prepared the venue of the FATF delegates scheduled for 2021 closely collaborating with the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Finance and the CSSF, by providing them with all the necessary information and documentation related to the FATF efficiency questionnaire (“Immediate Outcome N°4”). The ABBL notably handed a thorough file demonstrating how the ABBL contributed over the past two years to fostering and developing the AML/CFT awareness and compliance of its members.
Thanks to the ABBL membership in the CSSF AML/CFT committee, it was possible to make concrete suggestions to the CSSF in the drafting of its much-awaited update of the core AML/CFT CSSF Regulation 12-02, as well as the Grand-ducal Regulation of 14 August 2020 providing certain details on the AML/CFT Law of 12 November 2004. Since the Law of 25 March 2020 introduced the establishment of a central electronic data retrieval system related to IBAN accounts and safe deposit boxes, the ABBL could together with the CSSF enter into active discussions and set-up a dedicated working group aimed at sharing technical issues encountered to best implement the system.
As regards data protection and personal data transfers to the USA, 2020 saw the Court of Justice of the European Union invalidate Decision 2016/1250 on the adequacy of the protection provided by the EU-US Privacy Shield in a judgment dated 16 July 2020, leading to legal uncertainty surrounding data transfers to third countries. In this regard, the ABBL closely contributes to the EBF data protection privacy working group outputs vis à vis the European Commission update of its standard contractual clauses as well as the draft European Data Protection Board guidance pertaining thereto. 2021 will also enable the EDPB and the European Commission to address together the frictions between the AML/CFT legal framework and the GDPR.
Looking ahead to 2021, the ABBL will pursue its commitment to assist its members and the public authorities in preparing for the FATF mutual assessment of Luxembourg and the visit of its inspectors during a potential on-site visit foreseen in 2021.
The ABBL will continue to work on both Luxembourg and EU AML/CFT regulatory matters including the European Commission upcoming legislative proposal to reinforce the EU AML/CFT single rule book through a EU Regulation aiming at harmonising KYC rules, the risk-based approach and fostering information sharing. The European Commission should also propose the creation of a supra national EU AML/CFT authority, which should not supersede the prerogatives conferred to the CSSF.
The Professional Obligations Committee sees the increased pace of AML/CFT rules stemming from the European Commission as particular challenges for the sector, and will continue to work towards practical outcomes for its members.
The European Commission’s action plan for financing sustainable growth is now a reality, and with it the arrival of many European initiatives in the area of sustainable finance. These initiatives call for our contribution as a financial centre.
Professional Obligations Adviser
Julien Leroy holds a degree in business law and two Masters of Laws (LL.M.) in business law and European banking and finance law from the universities of Luxembourg and Paris II Panthéon-Assas. He joined the ABBL in 2017 as a senior legal advisor, with particular responsibility for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing issues, as well as personal data processing.
Julien is a member of the European Banking Federation's Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crime Committee. In Luxembourg, Julien is a member of the National Committee for the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.