Ireland: Central Bank fines Ulster Bank €3.325m

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November 1 2016

Ulster Bank Ireland DAC fined €3,325,000 by the Central Bank of Ireland in respect of anti-money laundering and terrorist financing failures.

The Central Bank of Ireland (the ‘Central Bank’) fined Ulster Bank Ireland DAC (‘Ulster Bank Ireland’) and reprimanded it for breaches of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 (the ‘CJA 2010’). The breaches have been admitted by Ulster Bank Ireland.  The CJA 2010 requires credit and financial institutions to adopt and implement adequate policies and procedures appropriate to their business to prevent and detect the commission of money laundering and terrorist financing.

The breaches occurred over a six year period, from enactment of the CJA 2010 on 15 July 2010 until 2016. The breaches identified significant failings in Ulster Bank Ireland’s anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism (‘AML/CFT’) framework and procedures in respect of:

  • Outsourcing: governance and control of AML/CFT outsourcing
  • Risk Assessment: assessment of money laundering/terrorist financing (‘ML/TF’) risks specific to its business and the relevant mitigating systems and controls
  • Customer due diligence: identification and verification of existing customers who predated the Irish AML/CFT laws effected in May 1995 (‘Pre-95 customers’)

The Central Bank also identified areas of non-compliance in respect of trade finance procedure manuals, adherence to internal procedures, AML/CFT training of non-executive directors and reliance on third parties in respect of customer due diligence (‘CDD’).