Investment Funds Update – Europe: Legal and regulatory updates for the funds industry from the key asset management centres and primary European fund domiciles - Issue 11, 2019: Ireland

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Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Bill 2019

The Government of Ireland approved the general scheme of drafting of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Bill 2019 (the “Bill”) on 3 January 2019.

The Bill will transpose many of the provisions of the 5th EU Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) which has the aim of strengthening laws in the EU to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The Bill will amend the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 which gave effect to the 3rd EU Money Laundering Directive and compliments the provisions of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Act 2018 which gave effect to the 4th EU Money Laundering Directive.

Read: General Scheme Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Bill 2019

Central Register of Beneficial Owners

Article 30 of the 4th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (4AMLD) requires all EU Member States to put into national law provisions around beneficial ownership information for corporate and legal entities. As of 15 November 2016 corporate and legal entities must hold adequate, accurate and current information on their beneficial owner(s) in their own beneficial ownership register.

The Department of Finance in Ireland has recently advised that the drafting of legislation to establish a central register of beneficial ownership (which will be publicly accessible in certain circumstances) is at an advanced stage and is expected to be concluded soon. 

Read: Companies Registration Office: Beneficial Ownership

Central Bank Publishes AML Guidelines for the Financial Sector

On 21 December 2018, the Central Bank of Ireland (the “Central Bank”) published Anti-Money Laundering (“AML”) and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (“CFT”) Guidelines for the Financial Sector. The Central Bank has invited general feedback on the guidelines in addition to responses to the specific questions contained in the Consultation Paper, which is open for comments until 5 April 2019. 

The Irish Funds AML Working Group has been following AML discussions and practices and will lead the preparation of an industry response to this Consultation.

Read: Central Bank AML & CFT Guidelines for the Financial Sector

Central Bank Statement on Share Cancellation under the EU MMF Regulation

On 11 January 2019, the Central Bank of Ireland (the “Central Bank”) issued a joint statement with the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) in Luxembourg on the treatment of share cancellation under the EU Regulation 2017/1131 on Money Market Funds (“MMFR”). 

The statement follows clarification provided in recent weeks that the practice of cancelling shares under a reverse distribution mechanism (“RDM”) was to be prohibited under the MMFR. Impacted Money Market Funds are currently focused on investor engagement and on the practical arrangements for compliance by 21 March 2019. This is a short timeframe for compliance following clarification on the prohibition of RDM in the final weeks of 2018. Industry remains constructively engaged with the Central Bank in relation to operational considerations and the practicalities of transition under the MMFR in order to meet this deadline.

Read: Statement on the treatment of share cancellation under the MMFR

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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