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Maintaining focus on money laundering

There can be no let-up in the drive to stop criminals or terrorists using legal services to launder their finances.

Money laundering is a priority risk for us. We continue to work with others to ensure law firms are not used to launder the proceeds of crime or hide the sources of funding meant for terrorist groups.

Key things to remember

Wanting to do the right thing is not enough to tackle money laundering. If you are in the scope of the regulations, effective processes and complying with our rules and the Government’s Regulations is essential. Our Risk Outlook highlights the key things you should be doing including:

 

  • carrying out proper customer due diligence on clients
  • verifying the client’s identity and check the source of funds (where appropriate)
  • checking the circumstances of the proposed transaction
  • creating and maintaining a risk assessment

 

Given the importance of this area, if we find firms are falling short of the expected standards, we will take action. For instance, if you are in scope of the regulations it is essential to have a risk assessment in place. If you do not have one you could not only be breaching your legal requirements, but also leaving the door wide open for criminals to launder money.

Further information on money laundering as a priority risk is available here:

Go to the priority risk page

Training records

As well as the money laundering Regulations, our Ethics Guidance team are regularly asked about AML training records. Specifically, a number of you have asked how long they should be kept. You can find out more information on that here:

Go to A Question of Ethics

Flag It Up

 The Government’s Flag It Up campaign targets professionals working in the accountancy, legal and property sectors to highlight the risks of money laundering and provide resources to help you tackle the problem. In addition to guidance and training videos, you can also download images, posters and leaflets to raise awareness in your firm. This includes leaflets offering guidance and tips on submitting a suspicious activity report (SAR).

You can find out more here:

Go to Flag it up

Find further guidance from the NCA on how to submit a quality SAR here:

Go to the guidance

 
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