United Kingdom

Topic: Money laundering

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Updates to JMLSG guidance

On 23 September 2021, the Joint Money Laundering Steering Group (JMLSG) published: A revised sectoral piece in part II of its guidance – Sector 15 (Trade Finance). The new text, which has been submitted to HM Treasury for approval, may be accessed under “Revisions” within the “Guidance” tab. Proposed revisions to Part I Chapter 5.7 … Continue Reading

FCA issue statement reminding firms about financial crime risks linked to Afghanistan

On 31 August, the FCA published a statement on its website reminding firms about the financial crime risks linked to Afghanistan. The FCA reminds firms that they must establish and maintain systems and controls to mitigate the risk that they could be used to further financial crime. The FCA also cites the obligations under the … Continue Reading

FCA letter to House of Commons Treasury Committee on frozen bank accounts

On 10 August 2021, the FCA published a letter that it had sent to the Chair of the House of Commons Treasury Committee, Mel Stride MP, regarding the freezing of bank accounts of certain vulnerable customers. In the letter the FCA explains, among other things, what customer service standards it expects from banks when they … Continue Reading

European Commission extends closing date of AML consultations

On 11 August 2021, the European Commission changed the closing date of the following consultations from 17 September 2021 to 6 October 2021: Revision of EU rules on Anti-Money Laundering (recast) Revision of EU rules on Anti-Money Laundering (recast of a former instrument) EU Anti-money laundering supervisor Revision of EU rules on Anti-Money Laundering (new … Continue Reading

Treasury consults on amendments to Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (MLRs)

This Treasury’s consultation invites views and evidence on the steps that the government proposes to take to amend the MLRs. The amendments are required to ensure that the UK continues to meet international standards set by the Financial Action Task Force, whilst also strengthening and ensuring clarity on how the anti-money laundering regime operates, following … Continue Reading

Commission overhauls AML and CFT rules

On 20 July 2021, the European Commission published a package of legislative proposals designed to strengthen the EU’s anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) rules. The legislative package consists of a: Regulation establishing a new EU AML/CFT Authority. In the financial sector, this new European Authority directly supervise financial sector entities that … Continue Reading

Commission sets out proposed Directive as regards access of NCAs to centralised bank account registries through the single access point

On 20 July 2021, the European Commission published a draft Directive as regards access of Member State competent authorities to centralised bank account registries through the single access point. Article 32a of the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive requires Member States to put in place centralised automated mechanisms, such as central registers or central electronic data … Continue Reading

Government circular on the confidentiality and sensitivity of suspicious activity reports in civil litigation

On 7 July 2021, the UK Home Office published a circular (the Circular) setting out the Government’s position on the use of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) in civil litigation. There is a tension between the fact that SARs can be disclosable in civil litigation (see previous blog here) and that disclosing that a SAR has … Continue Reading

The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) (No.2) (High-Risk Countries) Regulations 2021

On 12 July 2021, there was published on the legislation.gov.uk website The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) (No. 2) (High-Risk Countries) Regulations 2021. These Regulations amend the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (MLRS) by substituting the list of high-risk third countries in Schedule 3ZA for … Continue Reading

Updated HM Treasury advisory notices on high risk countries

On 12 July 2021, HM Treasury issued an updated advisory notice regarding the risks posed by jurisdictions with unsatisfactory money laundering and terrorist financing controls. The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) (No.2) (High-Risk Countries) Regulations 2021 will come into force on 13 July 2021 and will amend the list of High-Risk Third Countries specified … Continue Reading

Latest FATF papers

 On 1 July 2021, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) published: A stocktake report that examines commercially available or emerging technologies that facilitate advanced anti-money laundering / countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) analytics within regulated entities or collaborative analytics between financial institutions, while respecting data privacy and protection. A report that highlights the necessary … Continue Reading

New papers from FATF and Wolfsberg Group

On 30 June 2021, there was published: Report from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on ethnically or racially motivated terrorism financing. The report, which is based on inputs from around 30 jurisdictions, focuses on the funding behind ethnically or racially motivated terrorism, also referred to as extreme right-wing terrorism. The report highlights the challenges … Continue Reading

FCA Dear CEO letter – Action needed in response to common control failings identified in AML frameworks

On 29 June 2021, the FCA published a Dear CEO letter that it had issued detailing common themes coming out of its recent assessments of retail banks’ financial crime systems and controls. In the Dear CEO letter the FCA reminds firms that the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR) places a responsibility on all senior … Continue Reading

FATF guidance on proliferation financing risk assessment and mitigation

On 29 June 2021, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) published guidance on proliferation financing risk assessment and mitigation. The guidance seeks to develop a common understanding about the impact of the changes that FATF made in October last year to Recommendation 1 and its Interpretative Note to require countries and private sector entities to … Continue Reading

Recent FATF papers

On 28 June 2021, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) published: A press release concerning the outcomes of the FATF Plenary held on 20-25 June 2021. The press release for the plenary reports that delegates finalised work in a number of important areas. These include a report that details the financial flows linked to environmental … Continue Reading

Updated CPS guidance on s330 POCA prosecutions where money laundering cannot be proven

On 2 June 2021, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) updated its guidance on prosecuting failure to report cases under s330 Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA). Prior to the update, the CPS did not charge failure to report offences under s330 POCA where there was insufficient evidence to establish that money laundering was in fact … Continue Reading

The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (References to Financial Investigators) (England and Wales and Northern Ireland) Order 2021

On 7 June 2021, there was published on the legislation.gov.uk website The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (References to Financial Investigators) (England and Wales and Northern Ireland) Order 2021 together with an explanatory memorandum. The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (2002 Act) provides for a system of accreditation for financial investigators, who are known as … Continue Reading

FCA statement – Temporary Registration Regime extended for crypto-asset businesses

On 3 June 2021, the FCA issued a statement on its website confirming that it is extending the end date of the temporary registrations regime (TRR) for existing crypto-asset businesses from 9 July 2021 to 31 March 2022. The FCA adds that: The TRR was established last year to allow existing crypto-asset firms that applied … Continue Reading

Speech at the AML Intelligence Boardroom Series

On 17 May 2021, there was published a speech by Mairead McGuinness (European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union) at the AML Intelligence Boardroom series. Key points in the speech include: In May last year the European Commission set out its vision for the EU’s future anti-money laundering (AML) system … Continue Reading

JMLSG publishes provisional updates to Part II Guidance Trade Finance chapter

On 19 May 2021, the Joint Money Laundering Steering Group (JMLSG) published provisional updates to its Part II Guidance Trade Finance chapter (chapter 15). A number of the proposed changes clarify the definition of trade finance products/services, and how these can be used to facilitate global trade. In addition, material updates to the financial crime … Continue Reading

EBA consults on its proposals for a central AML/CFT database

On 6 May 2021, the European Banking Authority (EBA) issued a consultation on draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) on a central database on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) in the EU. The database will be a key tool for the EBA’s recently enhanced mandate to lead, coordinate and monitor AML/CFT efforts … Continue Reading

UK Government publishes Economic Crime Plan Statement of Progress

On 4 May 2021, the UK Government and UK Finance published a joint Statement of Progress against their Economic Crime Plan, covering the period from its launch in July 2019 to February 2021. The Plan was originally launched to help the UK tackle fraud and economic crime, and it is divided into 7 Strategic Priority … Continue Reading

FATF Meeting of Private Consultative Forum on Virtual Assets

On 20 April 2021, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) hosted a meeting of its private consultative forum to discuss its ongoing work streams concerning virtual assets. The meeting was organised in two main sessions: the first session was focused on money laundering (ML) and terrorist financing (TF) risks in virtual assets, and the second … Continue Reading
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