New AML requirements for company-proposed business

Colin Aylward
Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The bill to transpose the fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) into national law was signed on 18th March 2021 and the commencement order was signed by the Minister for Justice on 23rd April 2021.

As part of 5AMLD, all authorised entities – including life companies and insurance intermediaries - need to verify that companies have filed their beneficial ownership details with the Register of Beneficial Ownership (RBO), prior to onboarding. This new AML requirement applies to all life assurance contracts. It does not apply to pension contracts.

As part of the application process for a company life assurance contract (protection, savings and investment), authorised entities need to check the details provided in the application form against the company’s registration on the Register of Beneficial Ownership (RBO). Details of beneficial owners provided in the application should match those on the RBO. In the event that a company has not registered on the RBO, the contract cannot proceed. If the beneficial owner details on the RBO do not correspond with those provided in the application, the contract cannot proceed until such time as the discrepancy is rectified and evidence is obtained of this.

At the moment, Irish Life is checking company-proposed applications against the RBO at new business stage. Any discrepancies will be communicated back to the broker but this may hold up policy issue. If it is found that the company has not registered at all on the RBO, the application cannot proceed. Irish Life will cease these checks at some stage in the future. When this happens, we will communicate with brokers beforehand and set out requirements.

It is important to note that this is a legal requirement and all regulated entities should have a process in place for performing these checks. All other current anti-money laundering requirements remain in place.

In relation to any applications in the pipeline received post-23rd April, the New Business team will communicate with brokers should any discrepancies be found prior to issue.

There is a comprehensive FAQ section in the link to the register below that addresses details the responsibilities under the Act.