Irish bank account applications refused for companies who have not filed with the RBO

open business bank account

By Caitlyn Buchanan, 9th June 2021

Our contact within the Bank of Ireland says that approximately 52% of new corporate bank account applications are being refused because they have not filed with the Central Register of Beneficial Ownership (RBO).

The Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2021 came into force in April 2021 bringing a significant change for Irish banks when onboarding new clients. Under the new legislation, Irish banks and other corporate service providers who are considered ‘Designated Persons’ must adhere to increased due diligence obligations. Irish banks must now confirm that accurate information has been filed with the RBO prior to opening business bank accounts for new customers.

When does my company need to file with the RBO?

Under the AML rules in Ireland, new companies must file information on their ultimate beneficial owners within 5 months of incorporation. However, due to this new legislation, the filing may need to be made directly after a new company is incorporated in order to avail of various services such as opening an Irish bank account.

Please note: Financial institutions are allowed to open business bank accounts for corporate clients who have not made their RBO filing, no transactions can be processed until the filing has been made. However, it appears that many Irish financial institutions now require an accurate RBO filing to be completed prior to processing any new Irish bank account applications. We can assist you to make the RBO filing and fast track the opening of an Irish bank account for your company.

What other providers require the RBO filing?

Under the Criminal Justice Act 2021 ‘Designated Persons’ including Accountants, Solicitors, TCSPs, Financial Institutions, and some Central Bank regulated firms now have enhanced due diligence when onboarding new clients. A ‘Designated Person’ is required to check that accurate beneficial ownership information of a customer has been entered into the central register. These designated persons cannot engage in any business until the beneficial ownership information is obtained.

‘Designated Persons’ are required to report any clients who have failed to make a filing to the Register of Beneficial owners or if they have filed information that does not match with the documents/information that has been provided to them.

Please note: The Act also includes high-value goods dealers such as art dealers, jewellers, and car dealerships as ‘Designated Persons’ under AML legislation.

As a Trust or Corporate Service Provider (TCSP), and ‘Designated Person’, Company Bureau are responsible for ensuring a company’s RBO information is filed and up to date before providing our Company Secretarial Services to new clients. We can assist in making your beneficial ownership filing or in updating information previously filed with the central register records.

Please note: a company must be incorporated before the beneficial ownership filing can be made so naturally, we can incorporate new companies prior to making a beneficial ownership filing. The fastest way to incorporate a new company is to Order an Irish Company Online.

If you have any questions on the information covered in this article or if you would like assistance filing/ updating your company’s beneficial ownership information please don’t hesitate to Contact Us or call +353(0)1 6461625. Or if required, our Company Secretarial team can also assist you with an Irish bank account application for your company.


Disclaimer This article is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice. No liability is accepted by Company Bureau for any action taken or not taken in reliance on the information set out in this article. Professional or legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of this article. Any and all information is subject to change.