Anti money laundering

What are we trying to do

We want to ensure the legal services market does not assist in the laundering of the proceeds of crime

Who needs to know

Everyone working in a firm we authorise and regulate

What's going on

Money laundering is not a victimless crime - it helps fund terrorism and those involved in drug trafficking and people smuggling.

The credibility of law firms make them an obvious target for criminals. The overwhelming majority of solicitors want to do the right thing. Yet that alone is not enough. Weak processes or undertrained staff can leave the door open for criminals.

Our #staySHARP campaign is all about raising awareness of the threat money laundering poses to the legal sector.

That means staying SHARP – solicitors SHould Assess, Report, Protect.

  • Assess: firms need to assess their risk – that means having an adequate firm-wide money laundering risk assessment
  • Report: if a solicitor suspects a client or transaction might be using the proceeds of crime, they must report this to the National Crime Agency by submitting a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR)
  • Protect: make sure all your staff understand the risk money laundering poses, are familiar with your risk assessment, and are actively working to keep your business safe.

We have published resources to help firms make sure they are doing all the right things to #staySHARP, keeping themselves and the public safe.

Covid-19 and preventing Money Laundering

The Legal Services Affinity Group, of which the SRA is a member and includes regulators across the UK, has drawn up more detailed guidance on dealing with anti-money laundering compliance during the coronavirus pandemic.

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