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NEWS: Ireland’s big corporates come out in force to back government’s bid to locate AMLA in Dublin

DUBLIN: Ireland is “ideally suited“ to hosting the EU Anti-Money Laundering Agency given its position as a ”large independent globally interconnected financial centre“ and a recognised technology hub, the country's finance minister Michael McGrath told business leaders this week as corporate Ireland came out in support of the government's bid to host the new EU agency. PHOTO: Conor McCabe.

By ALISHA HOULIHAN for AML Intelligence

COPORATE Ireland this week backed the government’s bid to lure Europe’s new AML Authority (AMLA) to Dublin.

Ibec – the group which represents Ireland’s major corporations including big tech, banking, fintech and pharmaceuticals, made a strong push for the country to host the new authority.

Ibec’s backing for AMLA was supported by a host of other representative groups including:

  • Law Society of Ireland
  • Banking and Payments Federation Ireland
  • Financial Services Ireland
  • Insurance Ireland
  • Compliance Institute

This week the group welcomed the country’s Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath, European Ambassadors to Ireland and the wider business community to an event in Dublin to highlight the country’s credentials to host the new agency.

Minister McGrath emphasized to the gathering the importance of the process of picking the location for AMLA concluding prior to the wind down of the current European Parliament.

He said Ireland was “ideally suited”“ to hosting AMLA given its position as a ”large independent globally interconnected financial centre” and a recognised technology hub, the finance minister has said.

The Irish finance minister added that Ireland wanted to take its EU contribution “to the next level” by helping to build out a major institution such as AMLA in Ireland.

The event also heard from Ireland’s Attorney General Rossa Fanning who said the country’s common law legal system would be an advantage in AMLA dealing with other common law jurisdictions such as the United States and United Kingdom.

Assistant Secretary at Ireland’s finance ministry Michael J McGrath added that the common law systems in countries like Singapore and UAE was also an added attraction for Ireland’s bid.

Ireland, one of nine countries in the bidding race, is also offering the most money towards funding the agency – €80M – and a choice of two office blocks.

Hearings for the competing countries take place in Brussels next week (January 30) with the winner likely announced on February 22.

Ibec CEO Danny McCoy said: “Given the global nature of the issues and the international importance of AMLA, hosting the Authority would further bolster the positive global standing of Ireland’s financial services sector, as well as many relevant sectors such as Insurance, Technology, and Cyber.

“Ireland has developed a strong standing as a hub for robust regulation and enforcement.

“The country is home to substantial investments in sectors such as International Financial Services, FinTech, Technology, and Cyber, and we have strong trading links with the UK and the US.

“Locating AMLA in Dublin would not only further enhance our reputation among international investors but also solidify Ireland’s standing as an excellent place to do business.”

DUBLIN: Executive Directive of Ibec Global Jackie King (left) and Ibec CEO Danny McCoy (right) welcoming Minister for Finance Michael McGrath TD (centre). European Ambassadors to Ireland and representatives from the business community to an event to discuss Ireland’s credentials to host the new European Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA). PHOTO: Conor McCabe

McCoy added that he believes Ireland has the necessary expertise, skills, and stakeholder support to be a successful location for AMLA.

“Hosting this new regulator would be a powerful demonstration of the deep pool of knowledge and expertise within the industry, including areas such as governance, technology, and administration.”

Executive Director of Ibec Global, Jackie King, stated, “AMLA will be important not only for Ireland, but it will also be essential to addressing the global problem of money laundering.

“Figures released just last week show that in 2023, some $3 trillion in illicit assets flowed through the world’s financial systems.

“This comprised a staggering $782.9bn in drug trafficking activity, $346.7bn in human trafficking, and $11.5bn in terrorist financing.

“Europe is now about to tackle this problem in a far more serious manner with the establishment of AMLA.”

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