Anti-money laundering supervision
The Money Laundering Regulations 2007 apply to individuals and firms that provide accountancy services; trust and company services; or related services such as tax advice, audit or insolvency. So, anti-money laundering supervision applies to IFA members.
The regulations require all individuals and firms that provide such services to be supervised for compliance with the regulations by a supervisory authority. Under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007, the IFA is recognised as a supervisory authority for supervising the compliance of IFA members and members in practice with the money laundering regulations.
We have the responsibility to:
- help IFA members and members in practice understand relevant legislative requirements; and
- ensure that IFA members and members in practice comply with the law.
The IFA is a supervisory authority for its own members under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007. HM Treasury recognises the IFA's supervisory and monitoring scheme as a suitable means for supervising its members. This means that you should not be registering with HMRC for money laundering supervision.
The IFA supervises its members with compliance with the Money Laundering Regulations through:
- annual registration;
- monitoring via periodic questionnaires ("desk-top monitoring");
- providing guidance as required (on the IFA website, by letter, email or telephone, as appropriate);
- investigation following complaints or observations of third parties;
- links to CCAB, HMT and other resources;
- visits on a regular but random basis.
Any visit, telephone interview or teleconference will involve liaison with the IFA member and/or senior management at the firm being supervised. If you have any queries regarding a visit, please email Clive Purdy, AML reviewer.
CPD should be seen to show a member's commitment to keeping abreast of current legislation and procedures, including money laundering.
An annual questionnaire will be a universal form of supervision; information will be asked for on matters such as:
- a business' risk-assessment of anti-money laundering (AML) arrangements;
- documentation of internal procedures and controls;
- details of AML training undertaken by directors, partners or staff;
- internal audits of compliance with internal procedures and controls;
- external auditors' reports (if any - would only apply to large firms with a turnover greater than the audit threshold);
- compliance reports;
- basic data any suspicious activity reports (SARs) made to the National Crime Agency - only numbers, not details;
- breach logs.
As a supervisory authority IFA will not seek to use fines or other penalties to correct or remedy AML deficiencies in every case. However, where offences are particularly serious, the regulations give supervisory authorities the power to instigate criminal proceedings.
The IFA reserves the right to report members to the National Crime Agency (NCA) should the circumstances suggest suspicious activity. Any criminal conviction will also result in disciplinary proceedings by the IFA against the member concerned.
Where an IFA member in practice is also a member of another professional body and is supervised by them for AML, the professional bodies will co-operate between them for monitoring purposes to ensure that the member is complying with the Money Laundering Regulations.
How to apply for supervision by the IFA
IFA members and members in practice who want to register with the IFA for supervision for compliance with the Money Laundering Regulations, should complete the IFA's AML supervision forms and email them to IFA's membership department.
IFA members who have a practising certificate with the IFA must register with the IFA for anti-money laundering supervision.
If you already have a practising certificate with another body and are registered with them for AML supervision please email the IFA membership department with details.
The IFA will cooperate with other supervisory bodies to ensure that all dual members comply with legislation.