Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Questions (98, 169, 174, 190, 210, 239, 240, 243, 253, 254, 255, 268, 269, 270, 272, 273, 275)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

98. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Finance in relation to the anti-money laundering requirements applied to the purchase of prize bonds over €25 in value, if he has given consideration to the fact that this limit may have a detrimental impact on the sale of prize bonds; if a better balance could be achieved between the need for appropriate anti-money laundering requirements and convenience for ordinary customers who wish to purchase prize bonds as gifts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31890/13]

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Kevin Humphreys

Question:

169. Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Finance if there are plans to change the anti-money laundering requirements that apply to the purchase of prize bonds; if anti-money laundering requirements will apply to purchases of prize bonds over €25; if he will consider setting the limit to €100; if he will elaborate on the reasons for such a low limit being applied; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31647/13]

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Robert Troy

Question:

174. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Finance if he will reconsider the requirement to have anti-money laundering requirements for prize bond purchases as they are very restrictive and may impact on the sales of same. [32082/13]

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Kevin Humphreys

Question:

190. Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Finance his plans to change the anti-money laundering requirements that apply to the purchase of prize bonds; if anti-money laundering requirements will apply to purchases of prize bonds over €25; if he will consider setting the limit to €100; the reasons for such a low limit being applied; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31707/13]

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Willie Penrose

Question:

210. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Finance if in the context of the changes proposed in respect of anti-money laundering requirements for the purchase of prize bonds, if he will explore the achievement of a better balance in respect of the proposals, between the need for appropriate AML requirements, and convenience for ordinary customers who wish to purchase prize bonds as gifts and that AML identification requirements would only apply to the purchase of prize bonds over €100 in value, rather than the proposed limited of €25; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31754/13]

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Joe McHugh

Question:

239. Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Finance if he will update Dáil Éireann on the requirement for application of anti-money laundering requirements on the purchase of prize bonds over €25 in value; and if he will engage with the Irish Postmasters' Union on this issue. [31820/13]

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Andrew Doyle

Question:

240. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Finance the current anti-money laundering requirements for Prize Bonds; his views on whether the current level is sufficient; if he has considered raising or lowering this threshold; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that many bonds are sold and given as gifts by persons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31821/13]

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Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

243. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to the concerns raised regarding the proposed introduction of anti-money laundering requirements to prize bonds purchases over €25 in value; if he will consider raising this threshold to €100; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31843/13]

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Terence Flanagan

Question:

253. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Finance if any consideration has been given to setting a limit of €100 before an anti-money laundering identification requirement is applied for the purchase of prize bonds; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32003/13]

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Terence Flanagan

Question:

254. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Finance if he has any concerns that the anti-money laundering identification requirement applied to the purchase of prize bonds over €25 in value will be inconvenient for ordinary customers who want to purchase prize bonds as gifts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32004/13]

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Nicky McFadden

Question:

255. Deputy Nicky McFadden asked the Minister for Finance if changes in respect of anti-money laundering requirements for the purchase of prize bonds can be balanced in order to ensure the need for appropriate anti-money laundering requirements while also allowing for convenience for ordinary customers who wish to purchase prize bonds as gifts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32024/13]

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Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

268. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Finance whether the requirement to have anti-money laundering identification requirements applied to the purchase of prize bonds over €25 in value is restrictive and will have a strong impact on the sale of prize bonds by customers who wish to give them as gifts as if the limit was set at €100 before AML requirements were applied, it would be more appropriate and convenient for customers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32049/13]

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Finian McGrath

Question:

269. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Finance his views on correspondence from the Irish Postmasters' Union (details supplied) regarding proposed changes in respect of prize bonds. [32075/13]

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Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

270. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance if he intends to change the monetary limit at which anti-money laundering requirements are applied to the purchase of prize bonds from €25 to €100 and over to redress the imbalance in inconvenience experienced by customers wishing to purchase prize bonds as gifts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32143/13]

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Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

272. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Finance if he will consider increasing the purchase limit of prize bonds from €25 to €100 before anti-money laundering requirements are applied in order to maintain a balance between the need for appropriate AML requirements and convenience for ordinary customers who wish to purchase prize bonds as gifts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32149/13]

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Seán Ó Fearghaíl

Question:

273. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Finance if he will address the concerns raised in correspondence (details supplied) regarding prize bonds; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32155/13]

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Brendan Griffin

Question:

275. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Finance if he will increase the threshold for anti-money laundering identification requirement for the purchase of prize bonds to €100 from €25 for practicality purposes for ordinary prize bond purchasers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32173/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 98, 169, 174, 190, 210, 239, 240, 243, 253 to 255, inclusive, 268 to 270, inclusive, 272, 273 and 275 together.

European legislation has been adopted to protect the financial system and certain professions and activities from being misused for money laundering and financing of terrorism purposes. The anti-money-laundering obligations applicable in Ireland derive from the Third EU Money-Laundering Directive. The Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 was enacted in July 2010 to transpose the Third Money Laundering Directive (2005/60/EC) and its Implementing Directive (2006/70/EC) into Irish Law.

Part 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 2010 sets out the obligations of “designated persons” in relation to customer identification. One such obligation set out in the Act is the obligation to conduct customer due diligence, prior to the establishment of a business relationship. Customer due diligence refers to the identification of customers and that of any beneficial owners of financial products associated with the customer.

An Post and the Prize Bond Company are deemed to be a “designated person” under the Criminal Justice Act 2010 as they fall within the definition of a "financial institution". In light of this, An Post and the Prize Bond Company are required to comply with the relevant provisions of the Act in relation to the sale of Prize Bonds to customers. This means, in practical terms, that customer due diligence must be conducted on all purchases of prize bonds, irrespective of value.

The extent to which any particular person or product may be exempted from the customer due diligence requirements of the Act is determined by reference to the Act having regard to the underlying Directives.

The Central Bank of Ireland has no discretion to exempt certain firms from the requirement to comply with the Act.

In light of the above, I am exploring with the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) and my colleague the Minister for Justice whether or not exemptions available under the Directives may be applied to small value purchases of prize bonds facilitated on behalf of the State by An Post and the Prize Bond Company.