Regulatory Requirements and Guidance for Anti-Money Laundering 

The Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 (“the Act”) which first came into force on 15 July 2010 and which was  was recently amended by the Criminal Justice Act 2013, transposes the Third Money Laundering Directive (2005/60/EC) and its Implementing Directive (2006/70/EC) into domestic law, bringing Ireland into line with EU requirements and the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force. Designated persons under the Act, including all credit and financial institutions (as defined in the Act) are required to comply with their obligations under the Act with immediate effect.The Act contains specific and detailed regulatory requirements which are more extensive than the previous money laundering and terrorist financing provisions contained within the Criminal Justice Act 1994.  Therefore, the level of dependence on supplementary Guidance Notes to support implementation (as was the case with the 1994 Act) should be significantly lower under the 2010 Act. Credit and financial institutions must refer to the provisions of the Act to ascertain their statutory obligations.

The Central Bank of Ireland (“the Bank”) is specified in the Act as the State competent authority for credit and financial institutions. The Bank, pursuant to section 63 of the Act, is responsible for effectively monitoring credit and financial institutions’ compliance with their obligations. 

Credit and financial institutions are hereby informed that:

i.       they must achieve compliance with their obligations under the Act. 

ii.       the Bank will conduct a range of on-site inspections across the financial sector to “effectively monitor” compliance and effective implementation by credit and financial institutions with regard to their obligations under the Act.

iii.       as part of the inspection process, emphasis will be placed on compliance with section 54(2)(a) of the Act with regard to the adoption and implementation of policies and procedures for the assessment and management of risks of money laundering and terrorist financing.  The Bank expects that policies and procedures will be up-to-date and available for inspection, and that senior management (including boards of directors) can demonstrate full awareness of their responsibilities.

iv.       the Bank will, as provided in section 63 of the Act, “take measures that are reasonably necessary for the purpose of securing compliance.” Administrative sanctions are available to the Bank to achieve this statutory objective.

Financial Services Industry Guidelines

On 10 February 2012, the Bank welcomed the publication on the Department of Finance website of Financial Services Industry Guidelines (“the Guidelines”) which were prepared by a committee representing various sectors of the financial services industry.

The Guidelines have not been approved under section 107 of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 which is a matter for the Department of Justice and Equality and the Department of Finance.

The Bank, as per paragraph 1 of the Guidelines, “will have regard to these guidelines in assessing compliance by designated persons with the Act.” As noted in paragraph 1, the guidelines are designed to guide designated persons on the application of the relevant provisions of the Act. The guidelines do not constitute secondary legislation and designated persons must always refer directly to the Act when ascertaining their statutory obligations. The guidelines are subordinate to the Act.

Credit and financial institutions through senior management (including boards of directors) must ensure that they are in a position to demonstrate to the Bank that they are meeting the requirements as specified in the Act.