Financiers and the Irish government have been accused of being the main facilitators of money laundering in Ireland, but now the Irish Government says they are “only” “in the loop” when it comes to money laundering.
Speaking to the Irish Times today, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said “it would be naive to say that all the money laundering that we have detected is actually taking place within our own country”.
“It would be naïve to say there’s a high degree of involvement in money laundering between Financciones and Finances outside of Ireland,” he said.
The Government’s stance, which has been criticised by the Bank of Ireland and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, is in line with the views of a European Commission report released in October, which found Financials was involved in more than 90% of money laundrations in Europe in 2015 and 2016.
The report said Financiares €12bn turnover in 2016, €9.4bn in 2017, €7.8bn in 2018 and €6.6bn in 2019 was primarily derived from laundering and was “consistent with the involvement of the Financies financial institution”.
“There is no reason for Ireland to be the only country where there is money laundering, especially with respect to its banking sector,” the report said.
“It is important to note that Financiones is one of the world’s largest financial institutions with operations in more countries than anywhere else in the world.”
The Irish Government is working closely with Financeres and other relevant regulatory authorities to ensure that we comply with the requirements of EU rules, and to work with the banking industry to ensure it is properly regulated.
“Mr Noonan also said the Government would continue to work closely with other regulatory authorities around the world, and said Financiares has a “strong track record” of compliance.”
We have been working closely on a range of issues, including compliance, for a long period of time,” he added.”
Our position remains the same as it was in the past.
“Mr Fingleton said the UK has made significant progress on money laundering regulation since the Brexit vote, and he expects more countries to follow suit.”
As I’ve said from the beginning, we are working with other countries to make sure that we’re doing things right.
We’re working with the EU, we’re working to do the right thing, but the British Government is leading the way in that regard,” he told the Irish Independent.”
I’m really pleased that the UK is leading and I’m very proud of that.
“Mr Fine Gael, who has called for the UK to leave the European Union, said the EU should take a lead on money-laundering regulation.”
Money laundering is one thing that the EU has been doing, but money laundering is very much an international issue and we have to be proactive and we’re going to work on the best way to protect our money,” he insisted.”
This is an issue that we are going to continue to take up, but it’s something that we need to do at the international level.””
It’s something we have a duty to protect.
“A spokesperson for the European Banking Authority said it “is aware of recent developments regarding Financracies behaviour, particularly its recent compliance with financial institutions, which could have an impact on the effective functioning of the financial services sector”.”
The European Banking Association is a registered member of the Financial Services Directive, and the Financial Action Task Force is actively involved in this matter,” they added.
The spokesperson added: “The European Commission has also been informed of Financially Active Member’s actions and has expressed its willingness to work collaboratively with Financas authorities and other regulators.””
We will work with all relevant authorities to establish a coherent approach to money-transfers, to ensure a level playing field for all financial institutions.