AML Update: Access rights to database of bank accounts
As signposted in our previous updates (AML Update: Central Bank publishes details on how database of accounts will operate, AML Update: Minor changes to MLD4 Central Database Regulations and AML Update: Central Database of Bank Accounts, Payment Accounts and Safe-Deposit Boxes: Ireland publishes initial Regulations), the first set of regulations confirming who can access the Central Database have been published.
Irish AML legislation (the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010) was already amended in 2022 to permit the sharing of information from the database by FIU Ireland with its counterparts in other Member States. The latest regulations broaden access to two additional groups:
- ‘Article 3(1) authorities’: The new regulations confirm that An Garda Síochána, FIU Ireland and the Criminal Assets Bureau will be allowed to access and search the database of bank account information once it becomes operational. These access and search rights must relate to serious criminal offences, or related criminal investigations, including the identification, tracing and freezing of the assets related to such investigation.
- ‘Article 3(2) authorities’: The new regulations also confirm that An Garda Síochána and the Minister for Social Protection will be able to request and receive financial information or financial analysis from FIU Ireland where they need that information in connection with the prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution of serious criminal offences. An Garda Síochána and the Minister for Social Protection must also share information with FIU Ireland and the Criminal Assets Bureau on request if that information is necessary for AML/CFT purposes.
Provisions have also been included allowing for the sharing of information with Europol, and for the sharing of information by Article 3(2) authorities with their counterparts in other Member States for AML/CFT purposes.
We are expecting further access rights to be granted shortly, including to the Revenue Commissioners and to financial institutions. The Central Bank is also due to provide onboarding timelines to credit institutions during Q1 2023. We will continue to keep our clients and contacts updated as developments occur