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Bray Credit Union not involved in money laundering

Bray Credit Union did not facilitate money laundering or terrorist activity although it did breach legislation designed to prevent. Bray Credit Union (CU), one of the biggest in the country, has been fined after being found to be in breach of the Criminal Justice Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (AML/CFT) Act 2010 by the Central Bank.

“Bray Credit Union confirm that we were subject to a Central Bank investigation,” Bernie Robinson, chief executive of Bray Credit Union told the Wicklow Voice. “The credit union co-operated fully in the investigation and settled at an early stage in the process. The credit union has now rectified the breaches and introduced appropriate controls. There is no suggestion that the credit union was in any was aware of or facilitated money laundering.

“Bray Credit Union remains one of the strongest, most robust credit unions in the country. It has assets of €118m shares (deposits) of €98m and loans of €24m. Bray Credit Union is thriving with €15m in new loans drawn down over the last 12 months, and €6m in new shares (deposits). It is business as usual for us and we currently have over €50m available to lend.”

Central Bank fine of €98,000

It was reported in the national papers this morning that Bray Credit Union had been handed down the €98,000 fine from the Central Bank and it could have been inferred from headlines that it was involved in money laundering or terrorism. This was not the case and the fine has been imposed on Bray CU for not following the strict procedures in place to aid the prevention of money laundering by criminals. The Central Bank found Bray CU in breach of the Criminal Justice Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (AML/CFT) Act 2010. Regulators found that breaches of the act occurred over five years and seven months.

“The Central Bank is concerned that a credit union of its size and scale was found to have breached key AML/CFT requirements for such an extended period of time,” said director of enforcement Derville Rowland. “The failure of Bray Credit Union to apply adequate identification and verification measures to members and to scrutinise their transactions mean that it lacked critical information to allow it to properly fulfil its obligations to monitor, identify and report unusual and potentially suspicious activity and created an unacceptable risk of money laundering and terrorst financing.”

Bray CU has 26,886 members and is in the top 11% of credit unions by asset size.

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