The Home Office has issued guidance setting out the principles for sharing information within the regulated sector, and between the regulated sector and an authorised officer of the National Crime Agency.
The Criminal Finances Act 2017 introduces new sections 339ZB – 339ZG into the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, and new sections 21CA to 21CF into the Terrorism Act 2000. These new provisions will allow banks and other businesses in the regulated sector to share information with each other on a voluntary basis in relation to a suspicion that a person is engaged in money laundering, suspicion that a person is involved in the commission of a terrorist financing offence or in relation to the identification of terrorist property or its movement or use.
Information sharing under these provisions is entirely voluntary and any member of the regulated sector is entitled to refuse to undertake such sharing. It should be noted that whilst sharing of information within the regulated sector under these provisions is voluntary, filing required Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR) is not voluntary. Members of the regulated sector should consider whether they are obliged to submit a SAR in tandem with their consideration of whether to use the information sharing provisions.