Introduction to Anti-Money Laundering 

The law in Ireland on anti-money laundering (AML) and the countering of the financing of terrorism (CFT) is governed by The Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010, as amended by Part 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 2013 (“the Act”). The Act transposes European Union Law on AML and CFT (the Third Money Laundering Directive (2005/60/EC) and its Implementing Directive (2006/70/EC)) into Irish Law.

The law on AML and CFT reflects, both at the European and Irish level, the recommendations made by the Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”), which is a specialist international organisation that concentrates on the international fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. Ireland has been a member of FATF since 1991.

The Central Bank of Ireland (the “Central Bank”) is the competent authority in Ireland for the monitoring and supervision of financial and credit institutions’ compliance with their obligations under the Act.  The Central Bank is empowered to take measures that are reasonably necessary to ensure that credit and financial institutions comply with the provisions of the Act.

Key features of the Act

The Act sets out legal provisions to ensure technical compliance and effective implementation of international standards relating to AML and CFT. The Act:

  • Defines broadly the offence of money laundering.
  • Defines designated persons and beneficial owners that come under the provisions of the Act.
  • Provides for Directions, Orders and Authorisations relating to investigations.
  • Sets out customer due diligence, reporting, internal policies and procedures, training and record keeping requirements of designated persons.
  • Provides for monitoring of designated persons.

Designated persons should adopt a risk based approach when carrying out its obligations under the Act.

Ireland is subject to monitoring by FATF of its international obligations concerning AML and CFT through mutual evaluation reviews. The next review of Ireland’s compliance with the FATF Recommendations is due to take place in 2016. See more about FATF and Ireland here.