Bank of Ireland fined for assisting terrorists and breaching money laundering rules


The Bank of Ireland is a commercial bank operation in Ireland and one of the traditional ‘Big Four’ Irish banks. It is the oldest bank in the country among the modern groups of banks.

Recently, Bank of Ireland has been fined with more than three million euro after it admitted breaching laws drawn up to thwart terrorists and criminals. The frequent money laundry to assist terrorists posed a suspicion which eventually landed the bank into getting fined. The regulator said there were significant weaknesses and failures in the Bank of Ireland’s controls, policies and procedures.

The Central Bank of Ireland said it identified 12 occasions where the bank failed to enforce rules to combat money laundering and financing terrorism over three years from 2010. The Central Bank expected that Bank of Ireland should act according to the money laundry act of the country and not side line it.

In addition, the Central Bank’s director of enforcement Derville Rowland said:
“Such behaviour is unacceptable and falls far short of the standard expected of one of Ireland’s largest retail banks. Reporting suspicious transactions to the authorities without delay is a fundamental component of an anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing framework.”

He added:
“It is particularly disappointing that another large retail bank failed to submit six time-critical suspicious transaction reports to An Garda Siochana and the Revenue Commissioners promptly.”

This act has made banking and finance authorities lose confidence in the bank. It was least expected that such a bank would keep a dubious act secret. Consequently, Bank of Ireland was fined 3.15m euro after admitting failures in risk assessment, failing to make six suspicious transaction reports as soon as possible and failing to carry out enhanced due diligence on a correspondent bank outside the EU.

It was also reported last month that another bank; Allied Irish Bank was fined 2.3 million euro following a separate investigation into similar issues. However, Bank of Ireland said it takes its regulatory obligations seriously and regrets that these issues arose.

“The bank has co-operated fully with the Central Bank throughout this investigation and has completed a comprehensive multi-year programme of work to anticipate future legislative requirements while also addressing these issues.”

After being fined, Bank of Ireland has assured that it will never breach the money laundry law or even any law relating to banking and finance. It sincerely regretted the act and took its blame to be forgiven.

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