Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Central Bank of Ireland Publishes Anti-Money Laundering Guidelines


The Central Bank of Ireland has published its much-anticipated “Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Guidelines for the Financial Sector” (the “Guidelines”), which set out the Central Bank’s expectations on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing compliance.

The Guidelines will be of keen interest to financial institutions, including banks, insurers, investment firms, funds, and fund managers (“Firms”).


Ireland’s current anti-money laundering framework was introduced by the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 (the “Act”) and, in 2012, the Department of Justice published guidelines which fleshed out the anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism (“AML/CFT”) obligations set out in the Act.

Related: Ireland ‘too slow to fight bribery and corruption’

Ireland amended the Act to transpose the EU’s Fourth Money Laundering Directive 2015/849 (“MLD4”) into Irish law, in November 2018. Subsequently, in December 2018, the Central Bank issued Consultation Paper 128 (“CP 128”) setting out its draft AML/CFT Guidelines for financial institutions (the “Draft Guidelines”). The Central Bank published its much-anticipated final Guidelines on 6 September 2019 (here), along with a feedback statement on CP 128 (the “Statement”).

The Guidelines

The Guidelines set out the Central Bank’s expectations with regard to the AML/CFT obligations imposed on Firms following the transposition of MLD4.

They also incorporate expectations set out in previous Central Bank AML/CFT Sectoral Reports, AML/CFT Bulletins, and relevant European Supervisory Authority Guidelines.

The Guidelines are divided into ten main sections, including sections on Risk Management, Customer Due Diligence (“CDD”), Governance, Suspicious Transaction Reporting (“STRs”), Training and Record Keeping.

The Guidelines also contain a short section on international sanctions. Overall, the Guidelines are largely consistent with the Draft Guidelines, although there is a number of differences, in particular regarding CDD and training requirements.

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