Chartered Accountants Ireland welcomes publication of FATF's Mutual Evaluation Report on Ireland

Sep 07, 2017

Chartered Accountants Ireland has today welcomed the publication of the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) Mutual Evaluation Report on Ireland’s compliance with international obligations aimed at the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing. FATF is an internationally recognised body which sets standards and promotes effective implementation of legal and regulatory measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats.

Commenting on the publication of the report, Aidan Lambe, Director of Professional Standards at Chartered Accountants Ireland said:

“The overall conclusions of the FATF report demonstrate the significant progress that has been made in Ireland in recent years by all sectors, public and private, who are responsible for or are within scope of Ireland’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) regime.  It demonstrates too that Ireland as a jurisdiction takes seriously its international responsibilities as regards the ever-increasing threats posed to the financial system by money laundering and terrorist financing.  The report concludes that Ireland has a generally sound legislative and institutional AML/CTF framework.  It also identifies a number of priorities where improvements are needed including:

  • A deeper understanding of AML vulnerabilities and threats, particularly cross-border;
  • More active pursuit of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing prosecutions;
  • Increased resourcing for monitoring of certain entities covered by AML legislation;
  • Addressing a number of legislative technical issues – e.g. ‘Politically Exposed Persons’ and High Risk countries.

“The accountancy sector is heavily involved in regulation in this area, and it is pleasing that the profession has been noted as being largely compliant in terms of the regulatory and supervisory activities within the industry. Practising accountants generally have a high degree of familiarity with their responsibilities and obligations in this area.  But the report emphasises the importance of accountancy bodies having effective and dissuasive sanctioning regimes for non-compliance.

Mr Lambe further added: “However, the report also demonstrates that there is no room for complacency. It has identified a number of areas where improvements are needed and makes a number of recommendations in this regard. These recommendations essentially provide a roadmap for Ireland for improving and maintaining its AML/CTF framework in line with best international practice. These recommendations need to be prioritised by Government and resources found to support their implementation given that Ireland is a highly interconnected economy with a significant financial sector which, by its nature, is exposed to particular vulnerabilities and threats.

Finally, Mr Lambe added:

“This report is particularly timely given the proposed Criminal Justice (Corruption) Bill due to be published this Autumn and should provide valuable input to the development of that legislation. Chartered Accountants Ireland looks forward to working with all stakeholders in taking forward the report’s recommendations.”

Ends

Reference:  Aidan Lambe, Director, Professional Standards, Chartered Accountants Ireland T: 01 637 7307 / E: Aidan.lambe@charteredaccountants.ie

Bryan Rankin, Marketing Manager, Chartered Accountants Ireland T: 01 637 7268

Notes to editors:

FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 by the Ministers of its Member jurisdictions. The objectives of the FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. The FATF is therefore a “policy-making body” which works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas.

The FATF has developed a series of Recommendations that are recognised as the international standard for combating of money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. They form the basis for a co-ordinated response to these threats to the integrity of the financial system and help ensure a level playing field. First issued in 1990, the FATF Recommendations were revised in 1996, 2001, 2003 and most recently in 2012 to ensure that they remain up to date and relevant, and they are intended to be of universal application.

About Chartered Accountants Ireland:

Chartered Accountants Ireland is Ireland's largest and longest established professional body of accountants founded in 1888. The Institute currently represents 25,500 members around the world.

Photo of Aidan Lambe will be sent to pix desks separately.