Republic to bid for EU anti-money laundering agency

State to compete with nine others seeking to host new authority

The Republic will vie with nine other states to host a new EU anti-money laundering agency in its latest bid to convince Brussels to locate a key European institution here.

The EU plans to establish its anti-money laundering authority (AMLA) next year to help combat crime and terrorist financing.

Michael McGrath, Minister for Finance, confirmed on Tuesday that Government had backed plans to join the race to host the new agency. Austria, France, Italy and Spain are among the nine other EU states lobbying to have the authority located in their jurisdictions.

This will be the latest attempt by an Irish government to get the EU to locate one of its institutions here.


In 2016, the then minister for finance, Michael Noonan, announced that Dublin would seek to succeed London as home to the European Banking Authority, following the UK’s Brexit vote. The Irish capital lost out to Paris.

The AMLA is likely to employ more than 250 people while the Government believes the host country could benefit from “secondary” job opportunities.

Government will argue that the Republic’s big financial services sector, subject to anti-money laundering and terrorism financing rules, makes it an ideal location for the agency.

Mr McGrath said the State had a “good reputation for strong administration and a unique perspective as the significant common law jurisdiction in the EU”.

Regulations published in 2021 will establish the AMLA. The authority will oversee implementation of new rules to combat money laundering and terrorism financing. Those rules will apply initially to financial services but the EU intends extending them to other businesses.

The authority will open next year and is scheduled to be fully operational by 2026-27. The European Parliament and EU Council will jointly decide on the location later this year.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas