Accountancy bodies Working Together Against Businesses Involved in Money Laundering
Regulatory bodies, including ICAEW, ACCA and HMRC, have identified a number of businesses with potential failings with regards to compliance with record keeping, customer checks and identifying and analyzing risk.
This is part of a push to highlight money laundering activity led by the National Economic Crime Centre (NECC), which brought regulators in the property, finance and legal sectors together to ensure businesses’ internal control systems to identify and highlight activities with money laundering suspicion are in place and functional.
A number of visits together with compliance reviews have been carried out in relation to identifying businesses involved in laundering of money. In some cases, the vistis and reviews are expected to be followed up with assessments and/ or disciplinary action.
Regulatory bodies as well as supervisors like Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA), International Association of Bookkeepers, Gambling Commission, Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA), Law Society, Law Society of Northern Ireland (LSNI) and Law Society of Scotland, all have their game upped in terms of their usual activities from last week.
Representative of the NECC said that as highlighted in the National Crime Agency’s strategic assessment, regulatory bodies as well as supervisors are critical to our work to identify and eventually stop those who are working towards undermining the economy, institutions and infrastructure of the United Kingdom through criminal activities.
He further said that all high-end money laundering schemes (the laundering of large amounts of illegal funds through the financial and professional services sectors), are aided by the abuse of legitimate procedures, processes, systems and services. This work with regulatory bodies helps in protecting businesses and systems from the consequences of organised criminal activities.
Simon York, director at HMRC, said that businesses in the legal property, accountancy sectors need to know that criminals look for weaknesses and mistake, so it’s important they take all the steps and actions necessary to protect themselves from these criminal activities.
The regulations with regards to money laundering are critical to that, but there is still a number of businesses who ignore their responsibility and legal obligations. These visits and compliance reviews are a warning that if you continue to be involved in illegal trading then we will come after you.