Central Bank of Ireland’s VASP AML Bulletin


On July 11, the Central Bank of Ireland published a bulletin for Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs), pointing out key deficiencies in their applications for registration and their Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Frameworks.

“The Central Bank identified, in the vast majority of applications, a lack of understanding and compliance with key AML/CFT obligations, in addition to significant control weaknesses. The lack of compliance, coupled with control weaknesses, resulted in a significant number of the applicant firms not being able to demonstrate to the Central Bank that they could meet their AML/CFT obligations.”

The bulletin outlines the following key deficiencies:

  • Incomplete Applications – documents missing required information fields
  • Insufficient Money Laundering Risk Assessment – in particular not linking their risk assessment to their inherent risk/client and products base as well as not considering national risk assessments
  • Insufficient Policies and Procedures – in particular referring to global regulatory frameworks instead of specifically to the Irish one or elaborating on policies, but failing to explain procedures (i.e/ how policies are implemented in practice)
  • CDD Related Issues – for example not sufficient PEP screening or failing to cover the requirement to refresh CDD information
  • Sanctions Screening – failing to document sanctions screening (how screening is done and what actions take place in case of a positive hit)
  • Outsourcing – a reminder that in case of outsourcing a documented agreement defining the obligations is needed, also evidence  that sufficient oversight is conducted on the outsourced activity

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