On 7 September 2022, the FCA published a speech by Sarah Pritchard, Executive Director, Markets, at the Financial Crime Summit entitled ‘Fighting financial crime – the force multiplier effect’.

In her speech, Ms Pritchard outlines the FCA’s strategic response to financial crime in the four following areas.

Robust defences and actions

The FCA sets robust standards for crypto firms on anti-money laundering measures, knowing that this sector is targeted as a potential weak link, and open for abuse by criminals. So far, 37 firms have met these standards, but they will need to continue to meet those standards to keep their registration.

Thinking ahead

Following the FCA’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the FCA’s work on sanctions is ongoing, using data and intelligence to identify firms and potential weaknesses in controls, and then using data tools to test the effectiveness of those firms’ sanction screening systems. The FCA will warn firms that if they use vendor solutions for their sanction screening process, they need to make sure that solution is tailored and suitable for their customer and business profile.

Cost of living

The FCA is asking firms to plan how they are going to respond to the risks of the cost of living crisis. The FCA anticipates a potential rise in people being recruited to act as money mules where they are asked to transfer money through their accounts by strangers in exchange for payment.

A whole system response

The FCA states that they need a whole system response to effectively limit the threat. Together with the Payment Systems Regulator and industry partners, the FCA wants to understand the tech solutions that could help prevent APP fraud in real time. Furthermore, the FCA wants to test how financial services and other sectors can share data and analytics in real time, and how to spot fraud at source.