The Central Bank has identified what it called "widespread" deficiencies in the policies and procedures in operation at Credit Unions to guard against money laundering. 

In a report published today, based on a review of a sample of credit unions, the Central Bank said it had seen evidence of failures to conduct adequate risk assessments of customers and transactions. 

It identified a number of other issues including a lack of adequate procedures, systems and control and failure in some instances to provide proper training for staff in the anti money-laundering procedures.

The report also highlighted what it described as an inconsistent – and sometimes undocumented – approach to the reporting of suspicious transactions to the Gardaí and Revenue.

“The credit union movement is an important component of the financial services sector,” said Domhnall Cullinan, head of anti-money laundering at the Central Bank. 

“Many credit unions are community based and this helps those credit unions to know their members, which is vital to consumer protection.  Credit unions need to use this knowledge to comprehensively assess the money laundering and terrorist financing risk in its business and implement the recommendations of this report as appropriate to the nature, scale and complexity of that business.”