AIB fined for anti-money laundering and terrorist financing compliance failures

anti-money laundering
anti-money laundering

It was confirmed by the Central Bank of Ireland today that Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. has been fined €2,275,000 by the Central Bank of Ireland in respect of anti-money laundering and terrorist financing compliance failures.

The Central Bank of Ireland fined AIB €2,275,000 and reprimanded it for six breaches of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing) Act, 2010 (the ‘CJA 2010’). All six breaches have been admitted by AIB.

The Central Bank identified six breaches of the CJA 2010 as a result of significant failures in AIB’s anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing controls, policies and procedures. The breaches occurred after the enactment of the CJA 2010 in July 2010 and persisted on average for over three years.

They included AIB’s failure to report suspicious transactions without delay to An Garda Síochána and the Revenue Commissioners. As well as failure regarding conduct customer due diligence (‘CDD’) on existing customers who had accounts prior to May 1995 when the first Irish laws on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (‘AML/CFT’) became effective.

This is the second enforcement action taken, in the last six months, by the Central Bank against a bank for unacceptable weaknesses in its anti-money laundering framework.

The Central Bank expects that anti-money laundering frameworks are ‘fit for purpose’, in that, they are appropriate to the nature, scale and complexity of a firm’s business activities. In particular, they expect that retail banks, as gateways to the financial system, have in place exemplary anti-money laundering systems and controls.

Director of Enforcement at Central Bank, Derville Rowland said, “Firms must have rigorous and robust processes for identification, assessment and reporting of suspicious customer activity. Crucially, those processes must ensure that information on suspicious activity is provided to An Garda Síochána and the Revenue Commissioners without delay to assist with the investigation of money laundering and terrorist financing. This case emphasises the fundamental information sharing role of the financial services industry in the fight against money laundering.”

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