As Anti-Money Laundering Reform Kicks in, EU Seeks to Close New Gaps

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New rules to tackle money laundering in the European Union took effect on Monday but the bloc already faces calls for further reforms as new shortcomings emerged after alleged wrongdoing at banks in Baltic states and Malta.

The fifth review of the EU anti-money laundering directive became binding on Monday after two years of EU talks to strengthen controls on the real owners of companies and digital payments, including virtual currencies.

But despite marking progress in the fight against large-scale fraudsters, the new rules could be born obsolete as they fail to address new gaps exposed by a series of banking scandals this year in Latvia, Estonia and Malta.

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