The Central Bank of Ireland has established a portal that allows Certain Financial Vehicles (“CFVs”), namely Irish Collective Asset-Management Vehicles (“ICAVs”), unit trusts and credit unions, to register details of their beneficial owners with the Central Bank.
Under the European Union (Registration of Beneficial Ownership of Certain Financial Vehicles) Regulations 2020 (“the 2020 Regulations”), the Central Bank is designated as the registrar with responsibility for maintaining a register (“Central Register”) of beneficial owners of CFVs, pursuant to Article 30(3) of the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive which requires that beneficial ownership of CFVs are held in a central register in each member state.
The Central Register is expected to be available for inspection by certain listed bodies and the public from January 2021. The Central Bank has advised that it will confirm when this access is available.
Under the 2020 Regulations, CFVs that are in existence before 25 June 2020 are required to file details of their beneficial owners with the Central Bank by 25 December 2020. There is a six-month filing deadline for CFVs that are registered on or after 25 June 2020.
What information is required?
CFVs must provide the following details in respect of all its beneficial owners1:
- Date of Birth
- Is the Person's interest / control direct or indirect?
- Nature of interest / control
- Extent of interest / control: % owned or controlled
- Further information / clarification in relation to nature / extent of ownership / control
- Date on which the person was entered into the entity's internal register as a beneficial owner
- Is the person currently a PCF holder in this or any other Regulated Financial Services Provider?
This information is required to be completed using the Beneficial Ownership Submission Form and to be filed with the Central Bank via the Central Bank's Online Reporting (ONR) system.
Duty to keep Central Register up to date
CFVs are responsible for ensuring that the beneficial ownership information remains complete and up to date. Therefore, if a person ceases to be a beneficial owner or if the information filed to the Central Registrar changes, is incorrect or incomplete, the CFV is obliged to file the relevant changes to its beneficial owners on the Central Register within 14 days of a change occurring.
Levy for maintenance of the Central Register
The Central Bank intends to issue a levy to CFVs during the first quarter of 2021 for the purpose of recouping the Central Bank's costs of maintaining the Central Register for 2020. Details of the levy process will be communicated to CFVs when available.
Penalties for non-compliance
A CFV that fails to file details of its beneficial owners with the Central Bank or fails to obtain and hold information of its beneficial owners in its own internal register may be liable on summary conviction to a fine of €5,000, or if convicted on indictment, a CFV may be liable to a fine not exceeding €500,000.
CFVs are advised to act now and to file details of their beneficial owners with the Central Bank before 25 December 2020. CFVs are also advised to file details of changes regarding their beneficial owners with the Central Bank within 14 days of the change occurring.
1. Under S.I. No. 110/2019 - European Union (Anti-Money Laundering: Beneficial Ownership Of Corporate Entities) Regulations 2019, “beneficial owner”, in relation to a relevant entity, has the meaning given to it by point (6)(a) of Article 3 of the Directive (EU) 2015/849. The 2020 Regulations further clarifies the definition of ”beneficial owner” of a unit trust, as being any person:
- Who holds more than 25% of the units of the unit trust, or
- Who exercises ultimate control over the unit trust by means of direct or indirect ownership
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.