UK law and guidance

The National Crime Agency’s National Strategic Assessment 2017 indicates that previous figures of £36 billion to £90 billion for all money laundering impacting on the UK could be a significant underestimation. Money laundering is also an enabler of serious and organised crime, which as well as costing the UK an estimated £24 billion a year, perpetuates wider social harms that damage communities and people’s lives.

The UK anti-money laundering regime requirements are set out in the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) (as amended by the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (SOCPA)), the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (MLR 2017) and the Terrorism Act 2000 (TA 2000) (as amended by the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (ATCSA 2001) and the Terrorism Act 2006 (TA 2006)).

Money Laundering Regulations 2017

The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (MLR 2017) effective on 26 June 2017, aim to ensure that the UK’s anti-money laundering regime implements the EU Fourth Money Laundering Directive and is in line the Financial Action Task Force’s standards and recommendations. The regulations build on the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 and introduce some significant changes which are summarised here.

To help IFA members meet their obligations under the MLR 2017, we have developed an Anti-Money Laundering checklist. This checklist covers policies, controls and procedures, awareness and training, record keeping, firm’s risk assessment of money laundering or terrorist financing risks, client due diligence (CDD), reporting, supervision and monitoring requirements under the regulations.

UK National Risk assessment

HM Treasury has published the 2017 update of the UK National Risk Assessment of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (NRA). The first version was published in 2015 and is available here.

Circumstances where there might be high risk of money laundering or terrorist financing

MLR17 requires the IFA to make available any information relevant to the firm’s own firm-wide risk assessment. The Accountancy Affinity Group, which includes the IFA, has identified a list of circumstances where there might be a high risk of money laundering or terrorist financing.

Anti-money laundering guidance for the accountancy sector

HM Treasury has approved the Anti-Money Laundering Guidance for the Accountancy Sector. The guidance has been prepared to help accountants comply with their obligations under UK legislation to prevent, recognise and report money laundering. Compliance with this guidance will ensure compliance with the relevant legislation and professional requirements. 

Flag it up campaign  

The accountancy and legal sectors are working with the Home Office and the National Crime Agency to support the ‘Flag it up’ campaign. This joint initiative aims to raise awareness of the warning signs of money laundering, as well as the correct due diligence processes, and ultimately to help professionals to protect themselves and their firms.

NCA guidance

HM Treasury

Home Office

Office of Financial Sanctions (OFSI)