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Anti-Money Laundering Watch

Part 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 2013 (2013 Act) amends Irish anti-money laundering (AML) legislation.  While most of the reforms are of a technical nature, there are some changes of note.

One change that is to be particularly welcomed is a clarification regarding where designated persons that operate on a freedom-of-services basis store their records.  Previously, AML rules appeared to indicate that all such records had to be stored in Ireland.  This requirement has, however, been amended so that records can be kept outside of Ireland once they are readily available to the designated person.

Another change that should be noted is that designated persons now must apply additional levels of customer due-diligence where there is a heightened risk of money laundering or terrorist financing.  Previously, the legislation read as if this was optional.  Our experience, however, is that most designated persons have applied additional levels of due diligence, where appropriate, in any event.

Section 11 of the 2013 Act sets out certain additional matters that will need to be addressed in a designated entity’s internal AML policies and procedures.  Of the new items, the requirement to include measures that the designated person will take to address new developments (such as new products and new technologies) is likely to cause the most difficulties.  Many of the other measures are likely to be addressed in existing policies and procedures.

It is expected that the draft guidelines available on the Department of Finance’s website will be updated to take account of the 2013 Act.  The changes to these draft guidelines are not expected to be very numerous, but one would hope that some guidance will be given on some of the areas mentioned above.

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Mr Alan Shatter, has highlighted that the new Financial Action Task Force’s recommendations would not be addressed in the 2013 Act.  Instead, the Minister has stated that Ireland will address those recommendations when the EU’s 4th Anti-money Laundering Directive is adopted and becomes due for implementation into Irish law.

Contributed by  Grant Murtagh