Central Bank of Ireland resists bid to up workload in EU money laundering fight
06 Jan 2020

The Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) is resisting government plans to add to its responsibilities in the fight against money laundering, claiming that the extra work “might more appropriately be assigned elsewhere”.

The stand-off stems from an EU push to unmask the true owners of companies, investment funds and bank accounts throughout Europe.

In Ireland, most of the responsibility has fallen on the Companies Registration Office (CRO), which earlier this year began compiling information on the beneficial owners of companies, generally defined as individuals who control more than 25% of the shares.

The Central Bank, however, has been given responsibility for non-corporate entities, such as thousands of Irish collective asset-management vehicles (Icavs) registered in the country largely for tax purposes. It has also been charged with compiling a separate register identifying the beneficial owners of all bank accounts and safety deposit boxes in the country.

The Central Bank’s opposition to these added responsibilities came to light in the minutes of a meeting of its governing commission, which is chaired by governor Gabriel Makhlouf, on October 22.

“The bank has expressed its views to the Department of Finance that responsibility for these registers might be more appropriately assigned elsewhere,” the minutes stated. “It was also noted that there were a number of implementation challenges, not least the time frame set out, which would not be sufficient.”

The Central Bank told The Sunday Times that the workload should be transferred to avoid “unnecessary duplication of roles, cost and differences in the operation of separate registers”.

By Niall Brady, The Sunday Times, 5 January 2020

Read more at The Sunday Times

Photo: centralbank.ie [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

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