News Release

SRA response to National Risk Assessment

We welcome the National Risk Assessment of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing published by the National Crime Agency.

As the NRA acknowledges, we have long identified the facilitation of money laundering as a risk, and it continues to be a priority for us. We know that there are a very small number of lawyers who knowingly launder money. We take robust action against those individuals.

Others may unwittingly launder money because they do not comply with their legal and regulatory obligations to prevent or reduce the risk. We will continue to raise awareness of this risk and the profession's obligations. In 2011, we introduced a new rule to stop solicitors passing money through client account in the absence of a genuine underlying transaction.

Last year we published a paper on the subject and we regularly publish warning notices and information to the profession to alert them to anti money laundering processes and remind them of their duties to report any suspicious activity. We take very seriously any failure to comply with our rules and failure to minimise the risk of money laundering.

We have taken a series of such cases to the SDT, where the solicitors have been struck off or heavily fined. We are continuing to work with the NCA to report suspicious activity and remind the profession of their obligations.

 

Note to editors

In the last 12 months, we have issued warning notices and advice to the profession to alert them to anti money laundering processes and remind them of their duties to report any suspicious activity. These can be accessed below:

Go to the anti money laundering warning notice

Go to the suspicious reports warning notice

Go to warning notice on improper use of the client account

Go to the Risk Paper on money laundering

The National Risk Assessment can be found here:

Go the assessment

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