Money laundering 2017 key changes

The Money Laundering Regulations 2017 contain a number of amendments to the existing Money Laundering Regulations including changes to scope, due diligence and reliance on third parties, beneficial ownership, PEPs and changes to the supervision bodies and enforcement powers. 

The UK Government has announced that it is setting up a new body, the Office for Professional Body Anti Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS), which will be part of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and will operate within its existing governance arrangements. It will be funded through a new fee on professional body anti-money laundering (AML) supervisors and will have the power to penalise theses bodies if they breach any of the new money laundering regulations.

OPBAS is expected to be legislated for by the end of the year and should be fully operational by the start of 2018. In its press release, the government states that these changes are being introduced in response to the Call for Information on the AML Supervisory Regime and the Cutting Red Tape Review of the UK’s Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism Regime. These identified ways to improve the effectiveness of the supervisory regime by removing unnecessary burdens without having a material impact on the fight against money laundering.

The press release goes on to say that the changes aim to make “the system work better for the majority of law-abiding British businesses.” The mandate and powers of OPBAS and its impact on the supervisory regime is the subject of another HM Treasury consultation.

And finally, the government also issued its findings on the Cutting Red Tape (CRT) review into the impact of UK’s Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing Terrorism Regime dating back to 2015. This review does not make recommendations but identifies the impacts of the current supervisory regime, as reported by business. Areas covered by the review include guidance, approach to compliance and duplication.

Previous IFA responses on the transposing the Fourth Money Laundering Directive and Fund Transfer Regulation and the Call for Information on the AML Supervisory Regime are available at