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Thursday, 18th April 2024
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New ID systems proposed Back  
The Irish financial services industry is calling for the introduction of a national identity card system in order to facilitate the implementation of anti-money laundering measures complying with the Third Anti Money Laundering Directive, which, in the absence of such an identification system, makes the system much more complicated and expensive for Irish financial institutions.
The absence of a national identity card system puts Ireland at a major disadvantage in fighting organised crime and terrorist financing, and increases the cost of complying with international anti-money laundering requirements for Irish financial services institutions.

Speaking at a Financial Services Ireland (FSI) seminar held on July 13th, FSI director, Aileen O’Donoghue said, ‘European anti-money laundering law assumes that secure and verifiable forms of identification are universally available. This is true in many European countries, particularly those that operate a mandatory identity cards system, but not in Ireland. This makes the implementation of anti-money laundering measures much more complicated and expensive for businesses here,’ she added.

The EU’s Third Anti Money Laundering Directive, which will result in a risk based approach to money laundering, is due to become law in Ireland by December 2007. While the industry in principle welcomes the new Directive, it will place further administrative burdens and costs on the Irish financial sector, as the Directive obliges financial institutions to take additional measures to verify the identity of their customers.

According to O’Donoghue, ‘While the Directive will apply throughout the European Union, the absence of a national identity scheme here imposes greater costs on the financial sector in Ireland than elsewhere in Europe’.
Eimer O’Rourke, head of member service – retail, with the Irish Bankers Federation (IBF), concurs with O’Donoghue. She says, ‘The Directive presents new challenges for the financial services industry in Ireland,’ adding that the IBF is working very constructively with the Financial Regulator and other relevant authorities to find appropriate and practical solutions.’

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