United Kingdom

Topic: Money laundering

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FCA statement on listings of cannabis-related businesses

On 18 September 2020, the FCA issued a statement in response to queries from cannabis-related companies interested in listing in the UK. The FCA statement is pending a guidance consultation which will follow in due course. Key points in the statement include: While medicinal cannabis was legalised in the UK in 2018, investment in overseas-licensed … Continue Reading

Commission report assessing whether Member States have duly identified and made subject to the obligations of the 4MLD all trusts and similar legal arrangements governed under their laws

On 16 September 2020, the European Commission published a report to the European Parliament and the Council assessing whether Member States have duly identified and made subject to the obligations of the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (4MLD) all trusts and similar arrangements governed under their laws. Article 31 of the 4MLD requires trustees or persons … Continue Reading

FATF report – virtual assets red flag indicators of money laundering and terrorist financing

On 14 September 2020, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) published a report, Virtual Assets – Red Flag Indicators of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing. The report is based on more than 100 case studies and is designed to help national authorities and financial institutions identify potential money laundering and terrorist financing activity involving virtual … Continue Reading

EBA response to Commission’s call for advice on its AML and CTF plan

On 10 September 2020, the European Banking Authority (EBA) published its response to the European Commission’s (EC’s) call for advice on the future of the EU anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) framework. The EBA set out a number of recommendations, in summary these include: Harmonising specific aspects of the Fifth AML Directive, including: … Continue Reading

Risk Consulting Hot Topic Series: Financial Crime

The financial crime landscape has evolved significantly in recent years through, for example, the implementation of the 4th and 5th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directives; diversification of scope of financial crime to include linked disciplines like tax evasion and market abuse; and rapid developments of new technology. Further regulatory changes are also on the horizon, including … Continue Reading

MONEYVAL publishes Covid-19 money laundering and terrorist financing trends

On 2 September 2020, MONEYVAL (the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism) published a report detailing the money laundering and terrorist financing trends emanating from the Covid-19 pandemic, identified through feedback from jurisdictions within MONEYVAL’s remit. MONEYVAL notes that, so far during the pandemic, whilst the … Continue Reading

SWIFT publishes “Follow the Money” report to aid comprehension of money laundering risks underpinning large-scale cyber-heists

In September 2020, SWIFT (a global member-owned cooperative and provider of secure financial messaging services) published a report to support market participants in understanding the money laundering techniques which underpin large-scale cyber-attacks. The report sets out the end-to-end journey commonly used by criminals to launder funds obtained through illicit cyber-crime related activities, and focusses on … Continue Reading

The European Commission and Financial Markets Law Committee feed back to European Parliament on AML regulation of virtual currencies

On 2 June 2020 the European Parliament posed questions relating to the registration and monitoring of Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) in Member States as required by the provisions of the 5th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD). VASPs include virtual currencies, fiat currencies and custodian wallet providers. Responses were received from the Financial Markets Law … Continue Reading

The Institute of International Finance feeds back on the European Commission’s AML/CTF action plan

On 26 August the Institute of International Finance (IIF) provided feedback to the European Commission on its Action Plan for a comprehensive Union policy on preventing money laundering and terrorist financing, published in May 2020. The IIF notes that a more coordinated approach to implement and oversea the EU’s anti-money laundering (AML) and counter terrorism … Continue Reading

FCA consults on extending financial crime reporting obligation

On 24 August 2020, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a consultation paper (CP20/17) focused on extending its annual financial crime reporting obligation to include firms that carry on regulated activities that potentially pose a higher money laundering risk. This follows its 2019/20 Business Plan commitment to consider extending the reporting obligation to more firms. … Continue Reading

EBA responds to EU action plan for a comprehensive EU policy on preventing money laundering and terrorist financing

On 19 August 2020 the European Banking Authority (EBA) published its response to the European Commission’s consultation on its action plan for a comprehensive EU policy on preventing money laundering and terrorist financing. The European Commission’s action plan includes 6 “pillars” to strengthen the EU’s anti-money laundering (AML) and counter terrorist financing (CTF) framework, and … Continue Reading

Publication of Wolfsberg Group statement on developing an effective AML/CTF programme

On 12 August 2020, the Wolfsberg Group published its statement on developing an effective anti-money laundering (AML) / counter-terrorism financing (CTF) programme. In December 2019, the Wolfsberg Group published a statement on effectiveness which encourages jurisdictions to adopt the Financial Action Task Force’s focus on effective outcomes. As part of that statement, the Wolfsberg Group … Continue Reading

Wolsfsberg Group publishes new AML guidance to support source of wealth and source of funds due diligence

On 7 August 2020, the Wolfsberg Group, published new guidance targeted at private banking and wealth management divisions within financial institutions (FIs) to support the undertaking of source of wealth (SoW) and source of funds (SoF) checks. Based on the principles of the application of a risk-based approach (RBA), different customers will require a different … Continue Reading

Anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing: supervision report, 2018/2019

On 6 August 2020, HM Treasury published its eighth annual report on anti-money laundering / countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CTF) supervision. The report includes self-reported data about activity undertaken in 2018-19 across the UK’s AML/CTF regime, which supervisors provided to HM Treasury in their annual returns. The data collected in the returns covered the … Continue Reading

JMLSG publishes new chapter of AML and CTF guidance relating to cryptoasset exchanges and custodian wallet providers

Following a consultation which concluded on 18 May 2020 (blog here), on 28 July 2020 the Joint Money Laundering Steering Group (JMLSG) published a new chapter to be added to Part II of its anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) guidance for the financial services sector. The new chapter (referred to as Sector 22) … Continue Reading

HMRC/HMT consultation outcome and summary responses on 5MLD and Trust Registration Service

On 15 July 2020, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and HM Treasury (HMT) co-published a summary of responses to their technical consultation on the Fifth Money Laundering Directive (5MLD) and Trust Registration Service. On 24 January 2020, HMRC and HMT published a technical consultation ‘Fifth Money Laundering Directive and Trust Registration Service’. The consultation outlined … Continue Reading

The European Parliament agree on a resolution on the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing

On 10 July 2020, the European Parliament (Parliament) adopted a resolution on a comprehensive pan-EU strategy for the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, following the publication of the European Commission’s Action Plan in May (resolution text, press release). Key provisions of the resolution The resolution supports a much stricter, “zero-tolerance” stance towards Member … Continue Reading

Enforcement Update – vulnerable customers, AML and market disclosures

After a relatively quiet start to the year on the enforcement front, the FCA published three notable Final Notices in June 2020. All relate to areas which have been a focus for the FCA for some time: the fair treatment of customers experiencing financial difficulty (especially important in light of Covid-19); AML controls; and ensuring … Continue Reading

FATF reports on stablecoins and virtual assets

On 7 July 2020, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) issued a report to G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors regarding stablecoins. The June 2019 revisions to the FATF Standards place anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CFT) requirements on virtual assets and virtual asset service providers (VASPs). The FATF report finds that stablecoins share … Continue Reading

Private Equity firms to face increased scrutiny of their AML procedures and how they deal with AML issues

The UK Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) recent announcements indicate that private equity firms (PE Firms) will see increased regulatory scrutiny over their anti-money laundering (AML) systems and controls. Earlier this year, the FCA issued a “Dear CEO” letter outlining its Alternatives Supervision Strategy, including its view of the key risks of harm that PE and … Continue Reading

Basel Committee finalises AML/CFT guidelines on supervisory cooperation

On 2 July 2020, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision issued an updated version of its guidelines on ‘Sound management of risks related to money laundering and financing of terrorism’. The updated version of the guidelines contains a new paragraph 96 in Part IV (role of supervisors) and Annex 5 (interaction and cooperation between prudential … Continue Reading

Commission decides to refer Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands to the Court of Justice of the EU for failing to fully implement EU anti-money laundering rules

On 2 July 2020, the European Commission announced that it had referred Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands to the Court of Justice of the European Union, with a request for financial sanctions, for failing to fully implement the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive into their national law. The Commission states that incomplete transposition concerns fundamental aspects … Continue Reading

Commission Delegated Regulation amending the list of high risk jurisdictions for 4MLD published in OJ

On 19 June 2020, there was published in the Official Journal of the EU (OJ) the Delegated Regulation that the European Commission adopted on 7 May 2020 amending Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/1675 which supplements the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive by identifying those third countries that have strategic deficiencies in anti-money laundering and countering the financing … Continue Reading
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