European Union

The Fifth EU Money Laundering Directive, Directive 2018/843 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing has a number of core elements. The Directive as a whole aim to:

  • prevent risks associated with the use of virtual currencies for terrorist financing and limiting the use of pre-paid cards;

  • improve the safeguards for financial transactions to and from high-risk third countries;

  • broaden the scope of designated bodies under the existing legislation;

  • facilitate increasing transparency on who really owns companies and trusts by establishing beneficial ownership registers;

  • ensure the creation of, and access to, centralised national bank and payment account registers or central data retrieval systems.

Work on transposing the Fifth EU Money Laundering Directive is being progressed and is expected to be in place in 2020.

Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

The Financial Action Task Force  is the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog. The inter-governmental body sets international standards that aim to prevent money laundering and terrorist finacing and the harm they cause to society. As a policy-making body, FATF works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas.

The FATF has developed Recommendationsor FATF Standards, which ensure a co-ordinated global response to prevent organised crime, corruption and terrorism. They help authorities go after the money of criminals dealing in illegal drugs, human trafficking and other crimes.  FATF also works to preventing funding of weapons of mass destruction.

FATF reviews money laundering and terrorist financing techniques and continuously strengthens its standards to address new risks, such as the regulation of virtual assets, which have spread as cryptocurrencies gain popularity.   FATF monitors countries to ensure they implement FATF standards fully and effectively, and hold countries to account that do not comply.

Ireland’s fourth FATF mutual evaluation assessment, the  Mutual Evaluation Report was published in September 2017.