The European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs and Civil Liberties committees on Tuesday endorsed two agreements with the Council of Ministers on the new anti-money laundering legislation to help to fight money laundering, tax crimes and terrorist financing.
New rules to make it easier to trace transfers of funds were also approved, said an EP statement.
The anti-money laundering legislation will for the first time oblige EU member states to keep central registers of information on the ultimate owners of companies and other legal entities, as well as trusts.
The registers will be open both to the authorities and to people with a "legitimate interest," such as journalists.
The text also requires banks, auditors, lawyers, real estate agents and casinos, among others, to be more vigilant about suspicious transactions made by their clients.
It also clarifies the rules on "politically-exposed" persons," like people at a higher than usual risk of corruption due to the political positions they hold, such as heads of state, members of government, supreme court judges, and members of parliaments, as well as their family members.
The committees also approved a deal on a draft "transfers of funds" regulation, which aims to improve the traceability of payers and payees and their assets.
The two deals still need to be endorsed by the full Parliament in March or April and by the EU Council of Ministers. EU Member states will then have two years to transpose the anti-money laundering directive into their national laws.
Money laundered each year amounts to 2-5 percent of global GDP.