EU and International

The European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs)

The ESAs consist of the European Banking Authority (EBA), the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).

A part of ESAs' mandate is the fostering of a consistent and effective approach to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) / Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) by both, credit and financial institutions, and AML/CFT supervisors.

Under the Regulations (EU) No. 1093/4/5/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council (ESA Regulations) a part of ESAs mandate is to provide Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS), Guidelines / Recommendations and Opinions to the extent that the acts referred to within the ESAs Regulations apply to credit and financial institutions and competent authorities that supervise them within relevant parts of the Fourth EU Money Laundering Directive (Directive 2015/8849/EC).

Since January 2020, the EBA has been given new powers to lead, coordinate and monitor the AML/CFT efforts of all financial services providers and competent authorities in the EU.  The EBA was also given a new legal duty to contribute to preventing the use of the financial system for ML/TF purposes.

Regulatory Technical Standards

Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) are Level 2 measures developed by the ESAs which are adopted by the Commission as delegated acts. The purpose of RTS is to ensure the consistent harmonisation of the areas of the financial market which fall within the scope of the legislative acts referred to in the ESA Regulations. RTS must be technical and cannot contain any strategic decisions or policy choices and are limited in content by the legislative act on which they are based they are also mandatory in nature and designated persons are obliged to comply with them. Links to relevant RTS applicable to designated persons have been provided below:

Guidelines and Recommendations

Guidelines and Recommendations are Level 3 measures which are issued by the ESAs to competent authorities and financial institutions. The purpose of Guidelines and recommendations is to create consistent, efficient and effective supervisory practices and ensure common, uniform and consistent application of EU law. National competent authorities and financial institutions must make every effort to comply with Guidelines and Recommendations. Where a competent authority does not comply or does not intend to comply with a Guideline or Recommendation, it must notify the respective ESA, stating its reasons, within 2 months of the issuance of the Guideline or Recommendation on a "comply or explain" basis. Links to relevant Guidelines and Recommendations applicable to designated persons have been provided below:


The ESAs can also issue an opinion in accordance with Article 29(1) (a) and Article 56 of Regulation (EU) No 1093/20101, Article 29(1) (a) and Article 56 of Regulation (EU) No 1094/2010, and Article 56 of Regulation (EU) No 1095/20103. Both competent authorities and financial institutions are encouraged to take on board the factors identified in individual opinions. Links to relevant opinions applicable to Designated Persons have been provided below:

As a member of ESAs the Central Bank is actively involved in European AML/CFT regulatory and policy development and cooperates with other EU AML/CT supervisors. Representatives from the Central Bank regularly attend the EBA’s Standing Committee on AML/ CFT (“AMLSC”), which brings together senior representatives from AML/CFT competent authorities across all financial services sectors. The AMLSC coordinates measures to prevent and counter the use of the financial system for the purposes of ML/TF.

European Commission AML Legislative Package 2021

Following on from the European Commission’s AML/CFT Action Plan of 7 May 2020, in July 2021 the European Commission published its package of legislative proposals to strengthen the EU’s AML/CFT rules.

The AML/CFT package consists of four legislative proposals:

  • A Regulation establishing an EU AML/CFT Authority to be known as “AMLA”, which will become the centre of an integrated system of national AML/CFT supervisory authorities;
  • A new AML/CFT Regulation providing directly applicable AML/CFT rules
  • A new AML/CFT Directive, replacing the existing EU AML/CFT Directive (Directive 2015/849 as amended)
  • A recast of the Funds Transfer Regulation (Regulation 2015/847).
Response of Derville Rowland Director General Central Bank of Ireland to EU Commission's AML Action Plan | pdf 117 KB

FATF and Ireland

What is the FATF?

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is a policy-making organisation that leads the international fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. In response to the growing concern about money laundering at both the domestic and international levels, the G-7 established the FATF in 1989.

The objectives of the FATF are to set international standards for combating money laundering and terrorist financing and to promote the effective implementation of these standards into the legal, supervisory and regulatory frameworks of its members. The FATF's standards are embodied in its 40 Recommendations, which were updated in 2012, and deal with money laundering, terrorist financing and targeted financial sanctions for terrorism and proliferation.

Please see the FATF website for more information.

Mutual Evaluation Reviews (MER)

The FATF regularly monitors the progress of its members in implementing its Recommendations through the Mutual Evaluation process. This process consists of a peer review of each member, which provides a detailed description and analysis of their Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML / CFT) framework present in their legislative, regulatory and supervisory apparatus. The findings of the examiners are then discussed at the next plenary and adopted in a Mutual Evaluation report (MER). Currently, the FATF is conducting its Fourth Round of MERs.

Ireland and the FATF

Ireland joined the FATF in 1991. The last MER of Ireland was carried out by the FATF as part of its Fourth Round of Mutual Evaluations and the outcomes were discussed at the plenary meeting held in June 2017. On the whole, Ireland received a broadly positive review with certain areas commended such as the legislative framework underpinning Ireland’s anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing regime and the role of the Central Bank in the performance of its supervisory responsibilities as a Competent Authority. However, a number of priority actions for improvement were identified which will require remediation as part of the follow-up process.

Links to the FATF's Reports on Ireland's AML Regime:

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Ireland has been a member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) since 1957 and its financial sector has been deemed by the IMF to be 1 of 29 jurisdictions with a systemically important financial sector. As such Ireland is subject to financial stability assessments under the Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) which take place approximately every 5 years.

The FSAP is a detailed assessment of a country's financial sector examining the resilience of the financial sector, the adequacy of the regulatory and supervisory framework and the ability to manage and resolve financial crises.

As part of most recent FSAP conducted by the IMF in June 2016, review of Ireland's AML / CFT regime formed part of the “Financial Sector Oversight” section of the report. A copy of the report can be accessed from the following Link.

Ireland is also subject to periodic review of its AML / CFT regime by way of ROSCs (Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes conducted by the IMF in conjunction with FATF. Please see links below to ROSCs conducted in Ireland: