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European regulators are pushing for new laws that would give them the power to revoke licences for firms in serious breaches of anti-money laundering rules.

A joint report by the EBA, EIOPA and ESMA advocates for the introduction in all relevant EU financial laws of a specific legal ground to revoke licences as a "last resort" measure for serious breaches of AML/CFT rules.

The report also calls for the inclusion of assessments by local authorities of the adequacy of the arrangements and processes to ensure AML/CFT compliance as one condition for granting authorisation or registration.

The supervisory bodies highlight the importance of the issue as the EU drafts prposals for the Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA), currently under negotiation.

The report notes that in the past 10 years competent authorities have withdrawn the authorisation (or registration) from financial entities for serious breaches of AML/CFT rules in 26 cases.

"Based on the findings of the survey, the competent authorities across the financial sector may rely on non-specific grounds based on EU or national law," states the report. "However, for sake of legal certainty, this Report supports the introduction in the sectoral acts which are not yet covered, of a specific ground empowering competent authorities to withdraw the authorisation (or registration) solely on the ground of serious breaches of AML/CFT rules."

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