HM Treasury has published the national risk assessment (NRA), the first comprehensive assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing risk in the UK.

The NRA covers the domestic risks of money laundering and terrorist financing within the regulated sector, including financial institutions and other regulated professionals, and the risks associated with cash, new payment methods, and UK legal entities and arrangements. It also covers the international risks to the UK from money flowing into and out of the country.

Key findings from the NRA include:

  • the UK’s law enforcement agencies know most about cash-based money laundering, particularly cash collection networks, international controllers, and money service businesses, although some gaps in knowledge remain;
  • the size and complexity of the UK financial sector mean that it may be more exposed to criminality than financial sectors in other countries;
  • there are significant intelligence gaps, in particular in relation to ‘high-end’ money laundering;
  • the effectiveness of the supervisory regime in the UK is inconsistent. Some supervisors are highly effective in certain areas, but there is room for improvement across the board, including in understanding and applying a risk-based approach to supervision and in providing a credible deterrent; and
  • the private sector holds much of the data needed to succeed in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. Increasing collaboration between law enforcement agencies, supervisors and the private sector is essential to help prevent and detect money laundering and terrorist financing, and protect the UK from their effects.

The NRA also notes that the Government is committed to publishing an Anti-Money Laundering Action Plan. This action plan will set out how it will work with supervisors and the private sector to address the risks identified in the NRA. The priorities for the action plan include reforming the suspicious activity reports regime.

View UK national risk assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing, 15 October 2015