On 21-22 September 2023, the Council of Europe’s Economic Crime and Cooperation Division, in cooperation with the European Commission Directorate General for Structural Reform Support (DG REFORM) and the Croatian authorities, held a multi-country Conference “Ensuring an effective risk-based Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) supervision of financial institutions”, in Split, Croatia.

The event is part of the efforts aimed at supporting the Croatian National Bank (CNB) and the Croatian Financial Services Supervisory Agency (Hanfa) with increasing the effectiveness of risk-based supervision of financial institutions under their purview by developing a better understanding of money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF) risks affecting those sectors. To date, the technical assistance provided to the two supervisors focused on mapping the data sources for the introduction of a reporting system ensuring risk profiling, updating their risk assessment methodologies, as well as developing technical specifications for future IT supervisory tools allowing automated ML/TF risk assessment.

This multi-country conference aims therefore at complementing the abovementioned technical assistance by providing an opportunity for CNB and Hanfa representatives to exchange experience and good practices and discuss existing challenges with financial supervisors from other EU Member States. Although quite straightforward in theory, the risk-based approach to the AML/CFT supervision is still a challenge for supervisors across the EU and worldwide, who continue encountering significant difficulties as regards the collection of relevant data from obliged entities, selection of risk indicators, including their monitoring and update, automatisation, effective distribution of resources, and other related difficulties.

In this respect, the multi-country event gathered 30 representatives of financial supervisory authorities from several EU Member States including Croatia, Estonia, Italy, Germany, Latvia, the Netherlands and Spain, as well as Council of Europe experts, to discuss topical issues related to the development of supervisory strategies, the use of innovative supervisory techniques, the national and international cooperation between AML/CFT supervisory authorities, and the application of specific AML/CFT measures for the electronic money and payment institutions, as well as virtual assets service providers. In addition, representatives of participating jurisdictions provided updates as regards the recent steps and measures undertaken towards the enforcement of Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) Regulation in the EU Member States.

The event was organised within the framework of the Technical Support Instrument initiative “Risk-Based Supervision of Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism in Croatia”, co-funded by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Structural Reform Support (DG REFORM) and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.