Anti-Money Laundering

10 April 2019

SRA AML audits: be prepared

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (“SRA”) confirmed in March that it will be writing to a “large number” of firms (400) asking to see evidence of compliance with the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 (“MLR 2017”). A failure to respond to the SRA request can have regulatory and criminal consequences.

Jonathan Grimes

25 March 2019

SRA to undertake AML audits as enforcers keep focus on “professional enablers”

Recent political statements as to the role professionals can play in money laundering by “providing a veil of legitimacy to organised criminals” has led to a focus on “lawyers, accountants and estate agents [who] are too often woven into their web.”

Jonathan Grimes

15 January 2019

Working in partnership: a new public/private approach to tackle economic crime

2018 saw a major drive across government to tackling illicit finance and economic crime on the basis that “corruption and economic crime undermines our economy, damages our international reputation and communities.” (December 2018 Anti-Corruption Strategy 2017-20 1 Year Update” see our related blog.   Key initiatives included the launch of the National Economic Crime Centre (November 2018 see our related blog) and the Serious and Organised Crime Strategy (November 2018).

Jonathan Grimes

15 January 2019

Routinely and aggressively pursuing money-laundering investigations: the verdict on the UK’s AML regime

In December 2018, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) published its report on the UK regime to counter money laundering (ML) and terrorist financing (TF). The report praises the strength of the UK regime, noting that the UK has a ‘robust’ understanding of ML/TF risk, and proactively investigates, prosecutes and convicts ML and TF. The report cites that the UK achieves “around 7900 investigations, 2000 prosecutions and 1400 convictions annually for stand-alone ML offences or where ML is the principle offence”.

Nicola Finnerty

15 January 2019

Tackling illicit finance: lawyers under the spotlight

At the end of last year the National Crime Agency published its annual report on Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) for 2018. Media reporting (such as in the FT, subscription required), on the annual report has focussed, amongst other things, on the relatively small proportion of SARs made by lawyers. Is this a fair criticism and, if so, what is the reason for it?

Jonathan Grimes

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