Central Bank fines Irish arm of UBS


AN IRISH subsidiary of Swiss bank UBS has been reprimanded and fined €65,000 by the Central Bank for failing to comply with regulations regarding money laundering and terrorist financing.

UBS International Life Limited was found to be in breach of section 54 (6) of the Criminal Justice Act 2010.

The breaches were identified during an inspection of the firm in December 2010 conducted by the Central Bank’s anti-money-laundering and counter-terrorist-financing supervisory unit.

Following the inspection, an examination was conducted by the Central Bank’s enforcement directorate. The sanctions are one of the first of their kind under this legislation.

Revised legislation relating to money laundering came into force in Ireland in mid-2010, bringing Ireland into line with EU requirements. It applies to all credit and financial institutions operating in the State.

The Central Bank found the company had breached the legislation on three counts.

It was failing to instruct its staff on the law regarding money laundering and terrorist financing between July and December 2010, failing to comply with its obligations to identify and verify third-party customers and failing to adopt adequate written policies and procedures in relation to the identification and reporting of suspicious transactions.

UBS International Life “co-operated fully” in the examination, the Central Bank said in a statement, and had settled at an early stage. It added that the matter was now closed.

It said that the taking of the case and the sanctions imposed reflected “the seriousness with which the Central Bank views breaches of the legislative provisions, which are designed to prevent the use of the financial system for the purpose of money-laundering and terrorist financing”.

The Central Bank added that it took particularly seriously the fact that the company did not demonstrate to the bank that it had provided instruction in the law to its staff until December 2010 or to the majority of its directors until April 2011.