EU tightenes rules on transfer of money

The European Union tightened rules on the transfer of money to stop terrorist financing and money laundering.

Part of the EU's overall action plan against terrorism, the proposal would force banks to reject money transfers - no matter how small - from outside the EU if they carry no information on the person making the payment or the bank account that is the source of the funds. Such transfers would have to carry the sender's name, address and account number.

Within the EU, transfers may continue to carry only the sender's account number, yet receiving banks must scrutinize suspect funds and can request further details within three days of receiving funds. They would also be forced to reject dubious funds and stop dealing with banks failing to provide adequate data on the source of funds transfers.

Banks must retain transfer data for at least five years under the proposal unveiled by EU Internal Market Commissioner, Charlie McCreevy.

"The fight against terrorism requires a sustained and focused effort on many fronts. One of these is to cut off the funding for terrorist actions," McCreevy said in a statement.

He said he hoped the measure will quickly be endorsed by the European Parliament so it can become law across the EU in 2007, the AP reports.

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