EU acts against 10 EU countries in money laundering crackdown

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission on Thursday warned Germany about its failure to apply EU rules against money laundering and stepped up action against nine other EU countries as part of a crackdown triggered by several scandals last year.

Germany was sent a letter of formal notice, the first step of the EU legal procedure against states, while Belgium, Finland, France, Lithuania and Portugal received reasoned opinions, the second step of the procedure which could lead to fines.

Other reasoned opinions were sent for the second time to Bulgaria, Cyprus, Poland, and Slovakia, the EU executive said.

The ten countries have two months to respond or face court action. The Commission had set a June 26, 2017 deadline for EU countries to apply new rules against money laundering and terrorist financing.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; eidting by Francesco Guarascio