Issue 22 – August 2017
Issue 22 – August 2017Welcome to Compliance News, the e-newsletter for COLPs and COFAs. This issue includes information on this year's compliance officer conference, new anti-money-laundering regulations, and the fifth Risk Outlook.
New anti-money-regulations came into effect on 26 June. We are working on guidance to provide to you all in due course. In the meantime, we will take a proportionate approach to money laundering issues. The threat of organisations using law firms to launder the proceeds of crime remains a priority risk for us.
Our 2017 Compliance Officer conference takes place on Tuesday, 31 October, at the National Motorcycle Museum near Solihull in the West Midlands. There will be a mix of plenary sessions and breakout sessions so you can hear about the issues that matter to you.
Practising certificate and registration renewals will run from 2 October to 31 October. It is important that you make sure your mySRA account stays up to date. Log in today to check the information we have about you is correct.
We are seeing more and more reports of solicitors becoming involved in questionable investment schemes, and have taken in action in recent cases where the public have lost more than £50m. We have published a further warning notice reminding you what to watch out for. We are forecasting an increase in claims from people who have lost money through these schemes, and this has affected the level of Compensation Fund contributions we have set for the next practising year.
We have published our fifth Risk Outlook to help you identify threats to your firm and manage them. This year's Outlook has a new priority risk - involvement in dubious investment schemes, while cybercrime incidents continue to increase, with reports of £11m lost last year. We also reiterate issues around money laundering, standards of service and the diversity dividend.
We are now collecting diversity data from you on the demographics of your firm. This information is used to show how much the profession reflects the communities it serves. Many of you use the details we get back to benchmark where your firm stands, and to help shape your recruitment policies.
We want your help to shape the way our IT systems work in the future. Having up-to-date technology will help us to work with you efficiently and effectively. You can help by joining our latest virtual reference group.
Cybercrime is the fastest-growing crime in the country, accounting for more than 75 percent of all reports to the police. Law firms, handling large amounts of client money, are prime targets for such criminals. Are you doing all that you can to minimise the risk of your firm getting caught out?
Want to know the high risk scams that could affect your business? Our new round-up brings together the latest risks and advice on how to help keep your firm safe
We have now moved to the new approach to continuing competence. This replaces the old CPD 'hours' regime. From webinars to an online toolkit, we are here to help you ensure you track your training assessment through the year.
Our proposed new Corporate Strategy was published last week and outlines our ongoing commitment to maintaining high professional standards in the public interest. We are also asking for your views on the five key aims we have set out as part of our strategy. Are we focusing on the right things? Please respond by Thursday, 21 September.