On 17 June 2022, the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the UK Financial Intelligence Unit (UKFIU) published updated guidance on suspicious activity report (SAR) glossary codes and reporting routes.

The key points outlined in the updated guidance are as follows:

  • The glossary codes are crucial for enabling the UKFIU and wider law enforcement to conduct analysis to identify money laundering trends, high risk cases for development and take immediate action where necessary. They also enable the production of feedback to reporters on trends and patterns identified in SARs.
  • In addition to a SAR, it may be necessary to report a matter via other routes to ensure the right information gets to the right organisation. Where a crime is reported alongside a SAR it will be good practice to include the crime reference and the organisation’s details in the SAR. Furthermore, when submitting a SAR, the relevant glossary code should be included in the ‘reason for suspicion text’ (examples are provided on pages 21-27 of the updated guidance).
  • Finally, it is acceptable to have a SAR with several codes. If in doubt as to whether a particular code applies, always work on the basis that it is better to include one than not. It is also possible that a code does not match the set of circumstances faced by the reporter, so in some cases it is accepted that ‘no codes apply’ be populated into the ‘reason for suspicion’ text space.