In July 2017, the Government published the Anti-money laundering (AML) supervisory review: consultation which sought views on:
- whether the draft Oversight of Professional Body AML and Counter Terrorist Financing Supervision Regulations deliver on the Government’s intention that the Office for Professional Body AML Supervision (OPBAS) helps to ensure that professional body AML supervisors (PBSs) comply with their obligations in the Money Laundering Regulations; and
- the impact on business from establishing OPBAS.
HM Treasury has now published the Anti-money laundering supervisory review: Response to consultation. Key points include:
- the Government has clarified the basis on which OPBAS should make a recommendation that HM Treasury consider a professional body’s application to become an AML supervisor;
- OPBAS will adopt a proportionate approach as it works with PBSs to strengthen the supervisory regime. OPBAS may only request information it reasonably needs to fulfil its objectives;
- OPBAS may only request a report by a skilled person where it is reasonably considered to be required to support OPBAS in its oversight of PBSs;
- the Government has clarified the circumstances in which OPBAS may share information, the organisations that might receive information and the circumstances in which those organisations might share information collected by OPBAS;
- to ensure that information collected by OPBAS is used correctly, the Government has introduced a criminal offence if an individual (including a member of FCA staff) discloses information inappropriately;
- PBSs and individuals could be sanctioned if they fail to comply with a requirement imposed by OPBAS. As a result, OPBAS’s powers to publicly censure or recommend the removal of a PBS will apply to all relevant breaches;
- PBSs must incorporate the OPBAS’s sourcebook and relevant guidelines from a European Supervisory Authority into their supervisory approach. If a PBS has not complied with a requirement, OPBAS will not publicly censure if satisfied that the PBS took all reasonable steps to comply with the requirements. If OPBAS is not so satisfied it will issue a warning notice to the PSB; and
- the Government will be required to review OPBAS before 26 June 2022.
The Oversight of Professional Body AML and CTF Supervision Regulations 2017 have been laid in Parliament, and will take effect on 17 January 2018, when OPBAS will become operational.