EU agrees steps towards tighter money-laundering oversight

BRUSSELS, Dec 5 (Reuters) - European Union finance ministers backed on Thursday plans to strengthen the bloc’s powers to combat money laundering after a series of scandals hit European banks.

They called on the European Commission to explore the possibility of transferring supervision powers to an EU body and to amend rules to strengthen coordination among national authorities.

Despite criminal organisations frequently laundering the proceeds of their illegal activities abroad, the fight against financial crime is in the EU currently mostly dealt with by national authorities, which do not always fully cooperate. (Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio; editing by John Stonestreet)