HMRC has published its assessment of its own performance as AML supervisor. It notes that it currently supervises over 30,000 businesses across the various sectors within its remit. It says its performance is broadly in line with the relevant requirements but it can improve. It has recently improved its risk assessment process and is working to increase the number of supervisory interventions it makes each year, as well as introducing and operating a new framework for sanctions for breaches.
It aims within the next month to have comprehensive and written risk assessments of all its sectors, with strategies to address the risks.
In terms of intervention, it hopes more quickly to be able to identify the highest risk businesses and assess the appropriate intervention measure. In 2019/2020 it carried out over 800 face-to-face interventions and over 1,000 desk-based ones, which is lower then in previous years due to a number of factors, including putting an emphasis on complex cases in the past year, which demands greater staff resource.
The assessment shows HMRC refused only 1.7% of applications, which is nevertheless an increase on previous years – and refused for various reasons, such as refusal to provide information, concerns over the fitness and propriety of beneficial owners and suspicions that the firms would not comply with the regulatory requirements. It is now putting in place a system that puts the onus on businesses to show they are fit and proper.
HMRC also has a team that polices the perimeter by identifying businesses that are not registered which should be, and has put more resource into this team.
It is also pleased with progress it has made in producing information and training modules and keeping business up to date with legislative change.