FATF and Ireland 

What is the FATF?

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is a policy-making organisation that leads the international fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.  In response to the growing concern about money laundering at both the domestic and international levels, the G-7 established the FATF in 1989.

The objectives of the FATF are to set international standards for combating money laundering and terrorist financing and to promote the effective implementation of these standards into the legal, supervisory and regulatory frameworks of its members.  The FATF’s standards are embodied in its 40 Recommendations, which were updated in 2012, and deal with money laundering, terrorist financing and targeted financial sanctions for terrorism and proliferation. 

Please see the FATF website for more information.

Mutual Evaluation Reviews (MER)

The FATF regularly monitors the progress of its members in implementing its Recommendations through the Mutual Evaluation process.  This process consists of a peer review of each member, which provides a detailed description and analysis of their anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) framework present in their legislative, regulatory and supervisory apparatus.  The findings of the examiners are then discussed at the next plenary and adopted in a Mutual Evaluation report (MER).  Currently, the FATF is conducting its “Fourth Round” of MERs.

Ireland and the FATF

Ireland joined the FATF in 1991. The last MER of Ireland was carried out by the FATF in its Third Round of Mutual Evaluations in 2006.  Ireland received partially compliant ratings for certain core and key recommendations in 2006 and was placed into the regular follow-up process.  The FATF removed Ireland from the Follow-up process in June 2013 based on its 11th follow-up Report (FUR), which acknowledged the country’s significant progress in addressing the deficiencies identified in the 2006 MER.

Links to the FATF’s Reports on Ireland’s AML Regime:

11th Follow-up Review (2013) 
Mutual Evaluation Report (2006)

Preparation for FATF’s next MER of Ireland

The Fourth Round of MERs commenced in 2014. A review of Ireland under the Fourth Round is set to take place in 2016.  A national risk assessment is being prepared and a national steering committee chaired by the Department of Finance compromised of representatives of relevant competent authorities and state bodies (including the Central Bank) is engaged in preparations for the next FATF MER.

The Central Bank is engaging with stakeholders domestically and at the international level to ensure that it is implementing international best practice for an effect AML/CFT regulatory regime for the financial services industry.