What is Money Laundering?
Money Laundering occurs when criminals, use the proceeds of crime for legitimate purposes (e.g. to buy property) in a bid to hide its illegal origins.
What role do Property Services Providers play in the fight against Money Laundering?
The Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010, identifies Property Services Providers as “Designated Persons”. This means that Property Service Providers are among a number of professions who may be exposed to money laundering due to the nature of their business. Property Services Providers must therefore have the appropriate training and procedures in place to identify and report money laundering they become aware of during the course of their business. Business and Client Risk Assessment’s in respect of money laundering must also be carried out routinely by Property Services Providers.
What role does the Property Services Regulatory Authority play?
In 2016 The Minister for Justice and Equality prescribed the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA) as the State Competent Authority for property services providers for the purposes of Part 4 of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010.
As competent authority, the PSRA is tasked with monitoring property services providers and taking measures that are reasonably necessary for the purpose of securing compliance by property service providers with the requirements of Part 4 of the 2010 Act.
It is the responsibility of property services providers to interpret and to act in accordance with all relevant anti-money laundering legislation that applies to them. As competent authority, the PSRA provides guidance to property service providers on developing and implementing the relevant policies and procedures necessary to ensure compliance with Anti-Money Laundering/Combatting the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) legislation.
Amendment to the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 – March 2021
An amendment to the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 (the AML Act) was signed into Irish law on the 18th March 2021. This amendment enforces the EU’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive. Previously, Property Services Providers holding licence categories A and B only (i.e. the auction of property other than land and the purchase or sale by whatever means of land) were subject to the provisions of the AML Act. The amended legislation now includes C and D licence holders (i.e. the letting of land and property management services).
Additionally, changes have been made to a Property Services Provider’s obligations in the treatment of clients/customers from High Risk third countries and the use of the Beneficial Ownership registers.
The relevant guidance documents and templates have been updated to reflect these changes and are available below. Property Services Providers should ensure their own procedures are amended accordingly
Useful Resources for Property Service Providers