New Anti-Money Laundering Reform in Ireland

July 22, 2021
Makayla Santino

Banks in Ireland have adopted what some consider to be “radical” reform measures from the EU. These new regulations regard anti-money-laundering guidelines that would have the bloc oversee the riskiest of firms and crypto traders. 

The newly established authority of 250 employees will look for any transactions occurring across border lines that they find to be skeptical to prevent money laundering, according to the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI). The BPFI is the main representative unit for the country’s banking and financial services industry. 

The company’s head of finance and crime security, Keith Gross, stated that plans suggested earlier in the week included a set of “radical” amendments that would work to aid and encourage employees in the tasks they complete. These tasks include recognizing, countering, and breaching money laundering and funding of terrorism in Ireland and more broadly in the European Union. 

The policy reform will establish three major feats. These include that it will limit transactions in cash at €10,000, make cryptocurrency exchanges disclose the sellers and recipients of cryptocurrency, and finally stretch EU surveillance to cover not only banks but also accounting, legal, and real estate sectors. Currently, the EU’s agency will only manage a low figure of enterprises in the financial sector directly.  

The newly introduced regulation will identically apply to the 27 members of the EU. Prior to these rules, individual governments within the EU were able to make their own interpretations of past anti-money laundering regulations. This had led to disapproval from the European Commission regarding Ireland’s trouble in keeping adequate track of accountants, lawyers, and other agents that established trusts for their clients.

The Central Bank, Department of Justice, and Garda Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) work together and are accountable for the contestation of money laundering in Ireland. The Central Bank is active on a streamlined bank account registry and the Revenue Commissioners established a central report of trusts in April 2021, according to a speaker for the Department of Justice. 

The European Court of Auditors is in charge of analyzing spending and profit-raising within the EU. A member of this department, Toney Murphy, has stated that the current rules had meant that the powers of the EU were divided amongst multiple bodies. By centralizing these regulations, they may become more effective in practice. 

Many financial technologies are extremely new and quickly advancing, such as the field of cryptocurrency. For this reason, regulation is having trouble catching up and keeping up with all of the new services, leading to mischievous behavior by those that can work the system. It is the hope that these new regulations will truly crack down on money laundering once fully established.

 

 

Reference:

Collins, Sarah. “Irish Banks Welcome Radical Money-Laundering Reform.” Independent.ie, 22 July 2021, https://www.independent.ie/business/world/irish-banks-welcome-radical-money-launderingreform-40678065.html.

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