HM Treasury has published the 2017 national risk assessment (NRA) of the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (SI 2017/692) (MLRs).
In 2015, the government published its first NRA of money laundering and terrorist finance, followed by an action plan in 2016 where the government set out how it would address the risks identified in the 2015 NRA.
The 2017 NRA builds on the work undertaken in 2015/2016 and identifies where risks have changed, the government’s understanding of the risks and explores in further detail those areas identified as high risk. Key findings of the 2017 assessment include:
- high-end money laundering and cash-based money laundering remain the greatest areas of money laundering risk to the UK;
- the distinctions between typologies are becoming increasingly blurred;
- professional services are a crucial gateway for criminals looking to disguise the origin of their funds;
- cash, alongside cash intensive sectors, remains the favoured methods for terrorists to move funds through and out of the UK; and
- a wide-ranging set of reforms by government and law enforcement over recent years is still in its early days, but starting to take effect.
The government commented that many of the actions in the plan have already been launched or delivered. This year, the UK’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regime will be assessed by the Financial Action Task Force, and the government is determined to demonstrate the UK’s commitment to tacking illicit financial flows.