By STEPHEN RAE for AMLi
IRELAND is the latest country to officially announce it wants the location of the new EU AML Authority (AMLA).
Ireland’s Minister for Finance Michael McGrath today got the approval of his Cabinet colleagues to apply to become the base for AMLA.
Dublin is the most likely favoured location of the Irish government for the authority but a current housing and accommodation crisis in the capital city may be seen as drawback by assessors.
However, the fact that Ireland was pipped at the post for the location of the European Banking Authority and also the European Medicines Agency may stand in its favour.
The final decision for the location is to be decided later this year – allowing for the beginning of recruitment of a ceo, leadership team and the two boards who will oversee the agency.
The decision will be made jointly by the European Council and European Parliament and is most likely to be on the agenda of the Swedish Presidency in the second half of the year.
The agency will employ more than 500 staff and have a budget of more than €400M.
Other cities in the running include Paris, Frankfurt, Rome, Madrid, Vilnius while The Hague dropped out of the race because of the costs involved.
The jobs to be filled in AMLA will be across governance, technology, administration and business support areas.
Ireland’s Minister McGrath informed his Cabinet colleagues that Ireland is regarded as a potentially strong candidate given the country’s significant financial services sector, skilled workforce, and its reputation for administration and governance.
“I believe Ireland is a great location for this important new EU authority. We have a significant financial services sector, built over decades, that will be subject to AMLA’s direction and the new Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AMLCFT) Rulebook,” he said.
“Within that sector, there is good AMLCFT compliance as we have a robust framework which will be further enhanced by this new agency. Hosting it here will only add to Ireland’s and the EU’s compliance with international standards.
“Ireland benefits from a highly skilled labour force and from strong collaborative relations with our EU partners, the European Commission and the global AMLCFT standard setter – the Financial Action Task Force (FATF),” he added.
“Ireland has a good reputation for strong administration and governance and a unique perspective as the significant common law jurisdiction in the EU. Ireland is also a significant financial services location both in the context of the EU and internationally. Locating AMLA in Ireland can benefit the authority, as it would have close proximity to a range of entities from which it can learn what’s needed to develop its operational expertise; and it can benefit Ireland, as the supervised entities will have more ready access to a new supervisor with advice on best practice across the EU,” the finance minister said.
“I look forward to making the case for Ireland as an ideal location for the AMLA with my European counterparts over the coming months.”