Anti-money laundering supervision
The Money Laundering Regulations 2017 (MLR 2017) require all firms that provide accountancy services, trust or company services, or related services such as tax advice, audit or insolvency, to be supervised for compliance by one of the professional bodies in schedule 1 of the MLR 2017 (also known as supervisory authorities) or HMRC.
The IFA automatically supervises member firms under MLR 2017. Firms that provide trust or company services as part of their main accountancy practice, and which meet the definition of a member firm, will be supervised by IFA for all their work.
If a member firm has a group structure and has subsidiaries which are authorised firms under the Financial Services and Markets Act for FCA-authorised activities, the IFA will supervise the non-FCA regulated work.
The IFA will adopt a risk-based approach to exercise its supervisory functions detailed in the MLR 2017 which includes monitoring compliance of member firms with the MLR 2017 by conducting desk-top reviews, telephone interviews and/or visits.
The IFA reserves the right to charge administration and/or late cancellation fees where members fail to engage or cancel agreed reviews dates, without sufficient notice, to cover the additional costs incurred in attempting to arrange or rearrange telephone interviews or on-site visits. In addition, the IFA has a duty to co-operate with other supervisory authorities and law enforcement to counter money laundering and terrorist financing.
"We were delighted that we were picked for a AML supervision visit. The visit from start to finish was painless and efficient.
Alan Hind at the IFA was professional and very informative. He identified strengths and weaknesses at my practise and made constructive recommendations.
The IFA has an arrangement with AMLCC which is free for IFA members and I must say the system works great and saves a lot of time with compliances and AML in general."
Joseph Mills AFA, MIPA, ICPA, Managing Director, Alston Oak
Institute members need to consider carefully whether they and/or their firms are within the scope of the MLR 2017 since the MLR 2017 apply to different business sectors including accountants, financial service businesses, estate agents and solicitors. If you or your firm is operating in one of the business sectors within the scope of the MLR 2017 and you are not already supervised by a professional body or the Financial Conduct Authority, you must register for supervision by HMRC. HMRC has further guidance on their website on who needs to register with HMRC.
Firms that don’t meet the definition of a member firm but are within the scope of MLR17 can apply to IFA for anti-money laundering supervision. In order to apply, at least one partner, owner or director of the firm must be an IFA member, or the firm must be owned by a firm which has at least one IFA member.
"...when I first found out that were going to be looked into by the IFA anti-money laundering section I was quite concerned.
However, after having the meeting ...it was nothing like I expected. Alan Hind explained that he was here to assist us in reaching the correct standard required for the new AML rules.
I found the meeting to be very helpful and informative it also answered quite a lot of my concerns and made the situation regarding compliance a lot clearer.
I am very grateful to both Alan and the IFA for arranging the meeting. I personally think that what they are doing is brilliant."
D & D Accountancy Services Ltd
How to apply for AML supervision with the IFA
If your firm is not already supervised by the IFA, you can apply for supervision by the IFA by emailing email@example.com.
Suspect a firm is not supervised?
If you come across an accountancy service provider (ASP), trust or company service provider (TCSP), high-value dealer or other firm that does not appear to be supervised under the MLR 2017 or appears to be ignoring the regulations, please consider completing the following steps:
- Try to find out the name of their supervisory body e.g. ,do they refer to an accountancy body on their website, marketing materials or letterheads?
- Check HMRC’s supervised business register or the Financial Conduct Authority register for their supervisor’s details and refer them accordingly.
- If you can’t find the name of a known supervisor, please contact the HMRC MLR Registration Team.