Legal professionals are targeted to hold or transfer money because of the perceived legitimacy this offers. The Money Laundering Regulations 2017 strengthen enforcement of the anti-money laundering legislation.
They require all independent legal professionals that provide legal or notarial services and trust and company services to be supervised for compliance by one of the specified professional bodies (also known as anti-money laundering supervisory authorities) or by HMRC.
It is vital that you understand your regulatory and legal obligations including the Criminal Finances Act 2017, the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on Payer) Regulations 2017.
Anti-Money Laundering Guidance
The AML Legal Supervisors have agreed Legal Sector Anti-Money Laundering Guidance taking account of changes introduced by the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 which came into force on 26 June 2017. It was approved on 5 March 2018 by HM Treasury and is the guidance on which firms should base their compliance with the requirements in the regulations.
Every business covered by the regulations must be supervised by a supervisory authority. If your firm is a CILEx Authorised Entity, then your business will be supervised by CILEx Regulation.
If you run a firm in your own personal name as a sole trader, and the scope of your work falls under the Regulations, then we can agree to supervise you for AML compliance. You will need to contact CILEx Regulation to be added to our list of supervised firms. The fee for this supervision is:
- Application Fee £150 (plus an online DBS fee)
- Renewal Fee £100
If not, and your business is a trust or company service providers, you may find it easier to register with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). You can check if you need to register first. More details on supervision by HMRC can be found at the Government website
The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) helps to ensure that financial sanctions are properly understood, implemented and enforced in the United Kingdom. OFSI has also produced a quick guide which provides key information regarding the obligations of businesses and individuals in relation to financial sanctions.
The Consolidated list of EU financial sanctions and a Consolidated list of persons, groups and entities subject to EU financial sanctions can be found on the European Union External Action website
Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR)
Guidance on completing SARs and the making of consent requests and the closure of inadequate consent SARs can be found on the National Crime Agency website under publications.
National risk assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing 2017
The 2017 national risk assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing identifies risks around services, sectors and entities and encourages vigilance in the higher areas of risk.
Joint Money Laundering Steering Group
The Joint Money Laundering Steering Group provides comprehensive Guidance on Anti-Money Laundering procedures for the financial services sector, which provides a valuable resource for the rest of the regulated sector
The Financial Action Task Force
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body whose purpose is the development and promotion of national and international policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. Its 40 Recommendations are backed by mutual evaluations of its member countries.
Mutual Evaluation Report of the United Kingdom’s AML/CTF regime
On the 7 December 2018 the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) published its mutual evaluation report (MER) of the United Kingdom’s Anti-Money Laundering/Counter-Terrorist Financing regime (available here). The report recognises that the UK’s AML/CTF regime is the strongest of any country assessed to date. It also recognises the private sector’s extensive engagement in the production of the two National Risk Assessments (NRAs) and the success of the Joint Money Laundering Intelligence Taskforce (JMLIT).