EU's new Anti-Money Laundering Authority is now official, seeks chair

FILE PHOTO: The famous skyline with its banking district is pictured in early evening next to the Main River in Frankfurt, Germany

By Tom Sims

FRANKFURT (Reuters) -The regulation that sets up the European Union's new agency to combat money laundering went into force on Wednesday, and the authority already has its first job posting: the position of chair.

Candidates have until July 8 to apply to head the Frankfurt-based agency that expects to employ about 430 people and is set to open next year. The annual salary for the position is nearly 290,000 euros ($310,000).

Earlier this year, the EU named Frankfurt as the home of the Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA). Previously the bloc lacked any pan-EU body to control dirty money.

"Money laundering and the financing of terrorism are major concerns for the EU. They pose major risks to the EU's economy and financial system, and to the security of its citizens," the job posting reads.

The European Commission aims to identify a shortlist of at least two candidates, with a final selection by the beginning of 2025.

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner lobbied for the AMLA to be based in Frankfurt, which is already home to the European Central Bank and the EU's insurance supervisor.

Lindner said on social media platform X that Wednesday marked an important step in fighting money laundering.

"Honest citizens and honest business people are hurt when clans and mafia ... are able to launder money on a grand scale," he said.

Germany, Europe's largest economy, has been criticised for failing to do enough to tackle money laundering.

The AMLA plans to post other jobs for legal officers and experts from December.

($1 = 0.9362 euros)

(Reporting by Tom Sims; Editing by Miranda Murray and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)