Anti Money Laundering news

Additional summary points will be added to this page frequently. Please keep visiting for an update.

News Alert 8 July 2019: Tax appendix for the CCAB Anti-Money Laundering Guidance

Following the approval from HM Treasury, the tax appendix for the CCAB Anti-Money Laundering Guidance for the Accountancy Sector has now been published on the CCAB website and can be found using the following link.

UK Financial Intelligence Unit Signposting for SARs Guidance

The UKFIU has issued guidance to help signpost firms to various online SAR reporting guidance.

News alert October 2018: ICAS Sharing Information on ML/CTF Risks: NCA National Strategic Assessment

ICAS, as an AML Supervisor, needs to keep firms informed of money laundering risks.  This report, produced by The National Crime Agency provides an update on Serious and Organised Crime risks.

News alert October 2018: ICAS Sharing Information on Global ML/CTF Risks: FATF Professional Money Laundering Report

ICAS, as an AML Supervisor, needs to keep firms informed of money laundering risks.  This report, produced by The Financial Actions Task Force is useful reading for firms to help identify the most prevalent global money laundering risks by professional money launderers.

News alert 22 May 2018:

ICAS is required to operate an approval process to approve all principals, owners and management in the firms we supervise from an anti-money laundering (AML) perspective.

After 25 June 2018, no person may be the beneficial owner, officer or manager of a firm/sole practice, unless that person has been approved by the supervisory authority of the firm. It will be a criminal offence to act without approval. MLRO’s can access and complete the application form here.

News alert 1 May 2018: NCA publishes the Defence Against Money Laundering Frequently Asked Questions

News alert: NCA publishes first edition of the Defence Against Money Laundering Frequently Asked Questions (DAML FAQ v1)

DAML FAQ v1 draws together the good practice and interpretations provided by experienced Money Laundering Reporting Officers (MLROs) from across the UK SARs regime. Collaborative answers are provided to the most frequently asked questions concerning the DAML process.

News alert 13 March 2018: CCAB AML Guidance

The draft CCAB AML Guidance has now been approved and should be used by all firms.

News alert 8 February 2018: ICAS Issues Guidance and Templates for Firm-Wide Risk Assessment

The new Money Laundering Regulations 2017 require all firms to conduct a firm-wide AML risk assessment. ICAS will be asking all supervised firms to submit their first risk assessment soon, as part of the next phase in the AML approval process.

ICAS has produced guidance on how to conduct these reviews, along with a template checklist and worked-case studies, with the view to supporting practitioners in conducting their first risk assessment. These forms are not mandatory and firms are allowed to develop their own template or use a proprietary checklist if preferred.

Firms should, however, ensure that their risk assessment covers the key risk criteria in the regulations.:

  1. Clients: consideration of the nature of the clients the firm acts for.
  2. Geography: where the clients operate.
  3. Services: the nature of the services that the firm provide the clients.
  4. Transactions: the nature of transactions.
  5. Delivery Channels: the firm’s means of delivering services.

An email with more information will be issued to all MLROs/MLCPs in March 2018, along with an article in the CA Practice Magazine.

News alert 16 November 2017: SARs and Financial Sanctions

The European Union Financial Sanctions (Amendment of Information Provisions) Regulations 2017 came into force on 8 August 2017 requiring that all relevant businesses report knowledge of a designated person or offences committed under the legislation to the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI).

Relevant businesses include auditors, external accountants, tax advisers and trust and company service providers. General Guidance is available here and the reporting form is available here.

We have raised with OFSI the fact that such relevant businesses would also have an obligation to report under the Anti-Money Laundering regime via a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) and queried whether double reporting would be required. OFSI has now clarified that reports should be made to both the NCA via a SAR and OFSI.

News alert 20 September 2017: New Draft AML identification and risk forms available in GPPM

The draft revised AML forms went live this morning on GPPM.

A14.3a Identification form – Individual

A13.3b Identification form - Company

A14.4a Detailed KYC & Risk assessment/review – Individual

A14.5a Detailed KYC & Risk assessment/review – Entity

These forms are in draft pending approval by HM Treasury of the revised CCAB Guidance on Money Laundering, but can be used with immediate effect.

News alert 16 August 2017: New PEP Guidance issued

The FCA have recently issued guidance on the treatment of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) for AML purposes.  The guidance can be obtained on the publication section of the FCA website:

  • There is useful guidance on who should be treated as PEPs.
  • The requirements of the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 are highlighted, especially the requirement that each PEP must be risk-assessed on case-by-case basis.
  • UK PEPs (family members and associates) should be treated as low risk, unless there are other risk factors not linked to their position as a PEP meaning they pose a higher risk.
  • The Financial Ombudsman Service will consider complaints from PEPs, their family members or close associates – and will take the guidance into account.

News alert 11 August 2017: New AML Accountancy Sector Guidance

New AML Accountancy Sector guidance has been published to provide practical guidance on the implementation of the new AML Regulations. This guidance replaces the previous CCAB Guidance issued in 2008. It is in draft form as requires HM Treasury Approval.

All MLROs and AML Compliance Principals should read this guidance, and share it with relevant principals and staff, as required. Our future AML monitoring is likely to focus on compliance with both the requirements of the new regulations and this associated guidance.

The guidance can be accessed on the CCAB website

It is understood that further guidance will be issued in due course in relation to some specialist areas, including insolvency (IPs will be contacted separately once insolvency guidance is issued).

News alert 26 June 2017: The new Money Laundering Regulations 2017 go live

The Government published the new regulations on Friday 23 June 2017, which came into force with effect from Monday 26 June 2017. They bring in very significant changes to the UK’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regime and will have wide-reaching changes for our firms. For further details please see below.

New Money Laundering Regulations 2017 (Published 26 June 2017)

UK Government publishes the draft 2017 Money Laundering Regulations
(First published 18 May 2017 – now superceded by final regulations)

The UK Government published the draft 2017 Money Laundering Regulations in March this year and, in spite of the General Election on 8 June, these will still come into force on 26 June 2017 ( subject to any final amendments).

At the same time, the UK Government also published its response to the 2016 consultation on the AML Supervisory Regime. In short, the outcome of that is the proposed creation of a new oversight body for the accountancy and legal professions – The Office for Professional Body AML Supervision or OPBAS. The regulations to establish this body have still to be set out but it is expected that it will be operational by 1 January 2018.

There are very many issues arising for the creation of OPBAS affecting both ICAS, as a supervisor, and consequently our supervised firms. We have already held an informal meeting with the team at the Financial Conduct Authority charged with setting up the body. We will in the coming weeks be reaching out to our firms to discuss with them the impact of the new regime may have. This will involve working groups and wider publicist of the administrative changes. Please keep visiting this page for the latest information.

Meanwhile here are some of the main changes in the new 2017 Money Laundering Regulations:

  1. Politically exposed persons (PEPs): the definition has been widened to include domestic PEPs and their family members and known close associates and clarification given that a PEP must be a prominent public figure in a senior role;
  2. Beneficial owners (BOs); the definition of a BO remains at 25% share capital or control of an entity; however, BOs now have to have their identity verified; it is noted that simple reliance on the new persons of significant control register held by a company may not be enough;
  3. The registration limit for high value dealers is reduced to €10,000 from €15,000.
  4. Firms are now required to carry out an overall firm wide risk assessment and, on request, submit this to its supervisor;
  5. All policies and procedures must be approved in writing by a senior management person;
  6. There is a new requirement for an independent audit of the compliance with the policies and procedures. At this time it is unclear what the term ‘independent audit’ means in this context and we are urgently seeking clarification;
  7. Sole practitioners with no staff or sub-contractors are excluded from the requirements at 5 and 6 above.

These and other matters, as well as the implications of OPBAS, will be fully covered in the 2017 series of practice management courses.

Related articles will be added to this page frequently.

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