On 23 December 2019, the FCA published a new webpage highlighting the changes that the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (2019 Regulations) make to the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (MLR 2017).

The FCA webpage notes in particular that the 2019 Regulations amend:

  • Regulation 33 of the MLR 2017 requiring firms to include new additional high-risk factors when assessing the need for enhanced due diligence, and seek additional information and monitoring in certain cases;
  • Regulation 28 of the MLR 2017 is amended requiring firms to update their records relating to the beneficial ownership of corporate clients; and
  • Regulation 38 of the MLR 2017 regarding electronic money meaning that firms can only forego customer due diligence measures in situations where:
    • the maximum amount which can be stored electronically is €150 (previously €250);
    • the payment instrument used in connection with the electronic money (the relevant payment instrument) is: (i) not reloadable; or (ii) is subject to a maximum limit on monthly payment transactions of €150, which can only be used in the UK (previously €250);
    • the relevant payment instrument is used exclusively to purchase goods or services; and
    • anonymous electronic money cannot be used to fund the relevant payment instrument.

The 2019 Regulations also insert Regulation 30A into the MLR 2017 providing that firms report to Companies House discrepancies between the information they hold on their customers compared with the information held in the Companies House Register. A new Part 5A to the MLR 2017 is also added imposing duties on credit institutions and the providers of safe custody services to respond to requests for information, via a central automated mechanism.

The FCA states on the webpage that it expects firms to comply with the MLR 2017 as amended by the 2019 Regulations from 10 January 2020. In assessing its approach to firms that may not be compliant on that date, the FCA will take into account evidence that they have taken sufficient steps before that date to comply with the new obligations.