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Talkin’ bout a revolution

Filippo Noseda explains the fundamental changes wrought by the implementation of the 4th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive and the Common Reporting Standard.

As regular readers will know, Trusts and Estates Law & Tax Journal seeks to provide: expert and practical guidance in a clear format, identifying key decisions and developments that affect the advice you give using ‘concise and easy-to-read articles, written with an emphasis on practical implication’.

It might therefore appear somewhat odd that this article starts with what might appear to be an academic and lofty discussion about human rights. However, this prologue is necessary to help readers grasp the practical relevance of the 4th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD4) for their practice. This is because the AMLD4 and the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) ushered in a revolution that is likely to permeate everything we do for our clients going forward.

Hidden behind EU jargon lies a revolution

When I was growing up in Switzerland, I learnt that revolutions were a good thing, which is hardly surprising given Switzerland’s position as a continental European crossroad. The French revolution of 1789, the Liberal Revolution of 1848 and other similarly momentous events all left their signs on my country of origin. Those early learnings have been put to the test in the 17 years since
I moved to the UK. In a recent article over Brexit, The Economist stated matter-of-factly that:

…since the 17th century the British have had a marked suspicion of radical change. They prefer their revolutions to be ‘glorious’ – that is directed from above and dedicated to gradual change. And they insist that the popular opinion should be qualified and diluted by constitutional constraints. Leaps in the dark are supposed to be for foreigners. 

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This article was originally published in Trusts and Estates Law & Tax Journal.