RegSol Blog

FATF’s Updated Report on Ireland's Progress in Strengthening Measures to Tackle ML & TF

February 2020

Ireland has been in an enhanced follow-up process following the adoption of its mutual evaluation in 2017. In line with the FATF Procedures for mutual evaluations, the country has reported back to the FATF on the action it has taken since then. As a result the FATF has rerated Ireland’s compliance with some key recommendations and released a publication in November 2019.

Some items of note are:

  • Since the MER, Ireland has amended its legislation to address the identified technical deficiencies identified under R.10. This covers requirements related to customer identification and verification measures, and the inclusion of senior managing official under the definition of beneficial owner. However, the specific requirements related to legal persons have not been addressed. In relation to life insurance, the obliged entities are now required to include the beneficiaries of a life insurance policy/contract in the risk assessment when these are legal persons. However, there is no explicit requirement to include beneficiaries of life insurance as a relevant heighten risk factors when they are legal persons or arrangements, although it could be implied. 

  • Ireland’s definition of “PEP” was not consistent with definition of “PEP” in the FATF glossary. Since the MER, Ireland has revised its legislation addressing the identified deficiencies related to the lack of coverage of domestic PEPs, and PEPs of international organisations, including, family members or close associates of these. Additionally, the reference to “residence” in relation to foreign PEPs have been removed, resulting in the coverage of foreign PEPs residing in Ireland. The amended legislation also addresses the deficiency related to the determination of whether a beneficial owner of a customer is a PEP, and to inform senior management prior to payout of policy proceeds. The general obligation to consider filing an STR applies to situations of higher risks involving a PEP

  • Recommendation 15 In Ireland’s MER was highlighted as not having a specific requirement to undertake risk assessments of new products, business practices or technologies, prior to their utilisation. Since the MER, Ireland has conducted ML/TF risk assessments on new products and technologies, including virtual assets, crowdfunding and electronic money. Additionally, Ireland has revised its legislation to require obliged entities to conduct a risk assessment of the products, services, and delivery mechanisms they provide, in order to identify ML/TF risks. However, there is no explicit requirement for the risk assessment to be conducted prior to the introduction of a new product/service/delivery mechanism into the market.

By Judy de Castro - Regulatory Consultant