Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (156)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

156. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Finance if he will outline the anti-money laundering obligations of banks; if this includes the declaration by a bank to the Revenue Commissioners in the case that a customer wishes to deposit over €10,000 at one time; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5225/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 2013, transposes the Third Anti-Money Laundering Directive (2005/60/EC) into national law. Designated persons under the Act, including banks and all credit and financial institutions (as defined in the Act) are required to comply with their obligations under the Act.

Part 4 of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010, as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 2013, sets out a number of obligations on designated persons to prevent their businesses from being used for money laundering or terrorist financing purposes.  The obligations include identification and verification of customer identities, the reporting of suspicious transactions to An Garda Síochána and the Revenue Commissioners and having specific procedures in place to provide to the fullest extent possible for the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing. These procedures relate to record keeping, staff training and the maintenance of appropriate procedures and controls pertaining to the obligations imposed by the Directive.

Section 42 of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010, as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 2013 provides that "a designated person who knows, suspects or has reasonable grounds to suspect, on the basis of information obtained in the course of carrying on business as a designated person, that another person has been or is engaged in an offence of money laundering or terrorist financing shall report to the Garda Síochána and the Revenue Commissioners that knowledge or suspicion or those reasonable grounds". Furthermore, Section 42(7) of the CJA 2010 specifically provides that a Payment Institution may not execute a suspicious transaction prior to sending a report to the Garda unless it is not  practicable to delay or stop the transaction or the Payment Institution is of the reasonable opinion that failure to proceed with the transaction may result in the other person suspecting that a report will or has been made or that an investigation may be commenced or that it is in the course of being conducted.

While Section 25 of the Act provides that any person or business trading that accepts cash payments for goods in the normal course of business of at least €15,000 (whether in one transaction or in a series of transactions that are or appear to be linked to each other) may be considered to be a "designated person"  and subject to the requirements of the Act, there are no specific provisions in relation to the value of banking transactions.

My Department has published Guidelines on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing on the application of the 2010 Act.  The guidelines are designed to guide designated persons on the application of the relevant provisions of the Act.  The Guidelines are available on my Department's website at http://www.finance.gov.ie/sites/default/files/Criminaljustice2012%20as%20per%20Finance%20Website.pdf.