More than half of the EU's member states have failed to fully implement the bloc's 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive onto their respective statute books, the European Commission (EC) confirmed today.
The EC, the EU's executive arm, said 17 countries had missed the official deadline of 10 January 2020.
The EC has sent letters of formal notice - equivalent to bringing legal proceedings - to Cyprus, Hungary, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain, all of whom Brussels says has yet to implement any of the Directive's elements.
The Commission regrets that the Member States in question have failed to transpose the Directive in a timely manner and encourages them all to do so urgently."
In addition, the EC said Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg and Poland had only partially implemented the measures.
In a statement the EC said: "The Commission regrets that the Member States in question have failed to transpose the Directive in a timely manner and encourages them all to do so urgently, bearing in mind the importance of these rules for the EU's collective interest."
The EU also singled out Lexembourg for having "allowed firms unlimited deductibility of interest" from their tax bills.
A slew of money laundering incidents across Europe in recent years has prompted the bloc's regulators to introduce legislation to better tackle the problem.
Earlier this month II reported the EC is launching a taskforce to tackle "dirty money" across the continent. Several European banks have been fined in recent months for money laundering, including Swiss bank Julius Baer and Deutsche Bank, which was fined €15m by prosecutors in Frankfurt in December.