The revelations come as the Government pushes through new money laundering legislation implementing tighter international laws.
The Central Bank said it found “a significantly lower level of compliance” than it expected in its inspections. It has responsibility for monitoring financial and credit institutions and last year conducted a “programme of inspections” across the financial services industry.
“These inspections have revealed a significantly lower level of compliance than expected by the Central Bank, with control weaknesses and failures identified in a number of core areas,” said a Central Bank spokesperson.
In a letter written to all the firms, the Central Bank’s director of enforcement, Peter Oakes, and Niamh Lambe, head of money laundering, said control failures had been “repeatedly” identified.
It reminds firms to take into account their obligations under the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 and an amendment bill currently going through the Oireachtas.
The letter, written in October, also reminds firms that Ireland is a member of the Financial Action Task Force, which continually assesses the implementation in member states of money laundering requirements.
The Central Bank said that its inspections found firms had “not evaluated the risks of money-laundering and terrorist financing” and that there were “material gaps” in their policies and procedures.
It said firms did not provide training to all relevant staff, including senior management and board members, as legally obliged to do.
Meanwhile, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter is bringing the amendment bill through the Dáil, in line with recommendations from the FATF.
Mr Shatter said the European Commission was considering further proposals.