FIN.

Category - Financial Crime Prevention

OFSI reports on TAFA

OFSI has submitted its latest quarterly report to Parliament on the operation of the UK asset freezing regime under TAFA. The report covers the quarter to the end of 2019 and notes: only £9,000 of funds were frozen...

EP updates on MLD4 high-risk list

The European Parliament’s legislative observatory notes that the revised MLD4 high-risk third country list is now awaiting a committee decision.  Meanwhile, the UK is among 9 jurisdictions from whom the Commission...

FCA updates on Innovation Hub help

FCA has updated its information on requesting Innovation Hub support in light of Covid-19. It wants to hear from firms who have creative and innovative solutions to the challenges the virus is posing, and is...

NCA updates guidance on better SARs

NCA has published an update to its guidance on how to submit better quality SARs, and a set of FAQs to accompany it.  The guidance stresses that a properly made SAR will give the enforcement agencies a quick picture of...

EU launches AML policy

The European Commission has adopted an action plan for an EU policy on preventing money laundering and terrorist financing. It wants to deliver, by early 2021: effective implementation of existing rules a single EU...

FATF updates on Covid-19 risks

FATF has considered the financial crime risks that Covid-19 has created, and is looking at how to address them. It is particularly concerned at, for example, how criminals may seek to bypass CDD measures, use online...

FCA publishes skilled person data

FCA has publicised the number of skilled persons reports commissioned in January to March 2020. It commissioned 24 in total, of which 9 related to retail banking and 6 to retail lending.  6 of the reports were on...

Regulator Covid-19 Update 27 April

On 27 April: FCA has clarified the relationship between its rules and the UK’s CBILS and Bounce Back Loan schemes.  It notes that, pending the roll-out of the BBL scheme, which, from 4 May,  will give small...

Wolfsberg Group updates CBDDQ

The Wolfsberg Group has updated its Correspondent Banking DDQ and supporting documents. The changes update the documents and focus on ease of use and readability.

TI disappointed at UWO overturning

Transparency International has expressed its disappointment at the High Court’s decision to dismiss UWOs that would have required family members of the former Kazakh President to explain how they acquired £80m of...

PSR publishes APP scam thoughts

The PSR has published a summary of a conference call between key players in the payments industry to discuss the progress being made in tackling APP scams. It decided to go ahead with the call, not least as Covid-19 has...

FCA Business Plan 20/21

The FCA published its business plan for the coming year this morning.  The plan focuses around 5 key priorities for the year.  It has been significantly reshaped because of coronavirus as it was intended to show the...

Regulator Covid-19 update 1 April

Further updates from the regulators, in addition to FCA’s Dear CEO letter to retail investment firms, include: PRA welcoming the agreement by the boards of large UK banks to suspend dividends and buybacks on...

JMLSG consults on crypto guidance

JMLSG is consulting on a new part to its sectoral guidance, to cover cryptoasset exchange providers and custodian wallet providers. The new Part 22: defines crypto-assets, noting some examples which firms should...

Gambling Commission fines for AML failings

The Gambling Commission has fined Betway £11,6m for a series of “social responsibility” and money laundering failings linked to 7 VIP customers. The Gambling Commission found that: generally, because the...

TI welcomes economic crime levy

Transparency International has welcomed the Government’s announcement of an economic crime levy on firms subject to the MLRs. The Government will consult on its plans later in the spring.

FCA compares bank fraud controls

FCA has published data on the fraud controls banks have in place, intended to help consumers compare what different banks do. UK Finance asked banks: what their approach to fraud prevention was; what controls the firm...

FATF publishes guidance on digital ID

FATF has published a report giving guidance to regulators and firms on how to determine whether a digital ID is an appropriate CDD tool.  The report looks at how digital ID systems work, and what their key features are...

FCA speaks on digital assets

Therese Chambers has spoken on the financial crime risks presented by stablecoins and other digital assets. She spoke of: early attempts to launch non-state backed digital currency, and Bitcoin’s predecessors...

Up next from FCA

FCA plans the following publications: consultation on exit fees in investment platforms and comparable firms (March); consultation on listing of OEICs (Q1); consultation on changes to DEPP, EG and the financial crime...

FCA publishes 2019 data on STORs

The FCA has published its suspicious transaction and order reports (STORs) figures for the year ending December 2019. The number of STORs had increased consistently since 2016; however, the data for 2019 appears to buck...

CLLS views on TRS extension

CLLS has input its view on the extension to the TRS. As with other respondents, it notes several types of trust it thinks should be out of scope, including: trust arrangements that are incidental to a corporate...

APP Scams Interim Funding Extension

UK Finance confirmed on 27 February  that the payment service providers who have provided the interim funding arrangement  since May last year, have agreed to extend their funding to the end of the year (31/12/20). This...

Treasury updates AML advisory

Treasury has updated its AML advisory in the light of the most recent FATF plenary.  The notice confirms that counter measures and enhanced due diligence should be applied in respect of North Korea and Iran, and...

ESRB reports on systemic cyber risk

The European Systemic Risk Board (the “ESRB“) has published a report on cyber risks and incidents, which, owing to the interconnectedness of various information systems, spread quickly and widely. The ESRB...

FATF blacklists Iran

At FATF’s February plenary meeting it: updated its list of high risk jurisdictions. Notably, it decided Iran has not met commitments to complete its action plan, or enact the Palermo and Terrorist Financing...

TI writes to SFO on DPA regime

In the light of the Airbus DPA, Transparency International and Spotlight on Corruption have written to Lisa Osofsky asking that SFO evaluates how DPAs are used to ensure the regime is fair and consistent and provides a...

HMRC investigating 30 for CFA breach

In response to several FOIA requests, HMRC has published statistics on what it is doing to police the CFA offence of failure to prevent facilitation of tax evasion. As at the end of 2019, it had 9 live investigations...

EU gets tough on AML

The European Commission has sent formal notice letters to 8 Member States for failing to tell it about their implementation measures for MLD5. It requires a response within 2 months, after which it may move to a...

Court dismisses UWO appeal

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal against the first UWO imposed under the powers the CFA gave to the NCA. The UWO had been imposed in relation to the Azeri wife of an Azeri banker. A property had been...

FCA updates on skilled persons figures

FCA has published its latest figures on the numbers of skilled persons reports it has commissioned. During Q3 of 2019/2020 it commissioned 10 – of which 5 related to wholesale financial markets, 2 each to retail...

JMLSG consults on guidance update

JMLSG is consulting on updates to its guidance to take account of implementation of MLD5 and also make various other clarifications. The changes (consulted on in marked up form) will affect chapters 4,5,7 and 8 and the...

UK AML post-Brexit

Emma Radmore was interviewed by Money Laundering Bulletin on what might happen to UK AML laws in a post-Brexit world.

SFO publishes Airbus DPA

On Friday, Dame Victoria Sharp, President of the Queen’s Bench Division, approved a Deferred Prosecution Agreement between the Serious Fraud Office and Airbus SE. Under the terms of the DPA, Airbus SE agreed to...

OFSI updates sanctions guidance

OFSI has updated its general sanctions guidance in respect of its application to UK financial sanctions regimes under SAMLA. Separate guidance still applies to the EU regimes. The guidance contains explanations of how...

Progress update on PSR’s work

Chris Hemsley, Managing Director of the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) delivered a speech at last week’s Westminster Business Forum: Payments, policy and regulation – infrastructure, innovation and end-user...

Government consults on TRS

Treasury and HMRC are consulting on the technical measures needed to extend the Trust Registration Service. The consultation includes draft legislation and proposals on the types of express trusts that will need to...

Treasury responds on MLD5

Hot on the heels of Parliamentary criticism, Treasury has now published its response to the consultation on MLD5 implementation.  The response confirms the Treasury’s position in: expanding the definition of...

Parliament criticises lack of MLD5 feedback

Hansard reports criticism of the way in which Treasury announced the measures implementing MLD5.  In particular, it was disappointing that Treasury did not publish copies of the feedback on consultation and impact...

SFO updates compliance programme guidance

SFO has published an updated version of its internal guidance on how it evaluates a compliance programme.  The guidance is part of SFO’s Operational Handbook. When SFO is investigating an organisation, it will use...

HMRC updates on MLRs

HMRC has updated its website to reflect the changes the MLRs have brought and, in particular, the new classes of entities that fall within the regulated sector.  It will issue further guidance shortly, but has confirmed...

FCA updates AML pages

FCA has updated its pages on AML to take account of the coming into force of the changes to the MLRs implementing MLD5 and the regime for registration of those in the cryptoasset sector. It also confirmed the...

FCA confirms crypto-AML requirements

FCA has formally confirmed that it has, as of 10 January, become the AML/CTF supervisor of businesses carrying on certain crypto-asset activities that now fall under the MLRs.  It reminds market participants that no new...

FCA updates website on MLRs

FCA has updated its website to provide information for firms on the amended MLRs following MLD5 implementation. It stresses the changes the new MLRs bring in relation to: high-risk factors – the MLRs now specify...

Treasury makes MLR changes for MLD5

Treasury has made the Regulations amending the 2017 Money Laundering Regulations to implement MLD5.  The changes also amend key primary legislation, not least to broaden the scope of the “regulated sector”...

EVENT: Retail Banking Mixer

Bringing together professionals in the insurance, banking and other financial services sectors, we will be hosting the first of our quarterly RETAIL BANKING MIXERS at our Edinburgh office on 9th January from 4pm –...

ESAs publish AML/CFT cooperation guidance

The ESAs have published guidelines for supervisors designed to ensure effective cooperation and information exchanges between supervisors to combat money laundering and terrorist finance.  The guidelines include a...

ESMA publishes MAR review papers

ESMA has published a series of papers relating to the operation of MAR. The papers include: a peer review report on how regulators handle STORs. The review showed there had been a significant increase in market...

EPC notes key payment threats

The European Payments Council has published its third annual Payment Threats and Fraud Trends report. The report discusses the risks and trends, including those caused by: social engineering; malware; “advanced...

FATF speaks at AML conference

David Lewis, executive secretary of FATF, has spoken on the importance of stamping out a tick box culture in AML, and ensuring that industry and supervisors treat financial crime prevention as seriously as they should. ...

EU calls for halt on stablecoins

The European Council and Commission have called for a halt on any stablecoin arrangements in the EU, saying they should not start operating until the legal, regulatory and oversight challenges and risks have been...

European Council set out next AML actions

The European Council has adopted new priorities on AML and CFT measures, in which MLD5, CRD5 and the ESAs will be critical. The Council now wants the Commission to look at how it can further enhance the rules, in...

FMLC responds on MAR review

The FMLC has responded to ESMA’s consultation on the MAR review. Its response makes 2 key points: although the current definition of market abuse is not perfect, it should not be changed now, given the efforts...

NCA updates SAR guidance

NCA has published updated guidance and glossary codes for use when making SARs. The booklet includes a checklist, detail on codes, an alphabetical list, examples and an aide memoire.

OFSI confirms Turkey sanctions regime

OFSI has confirmed that the EU has introduced a sanctions regime relating to Turkey, with a view to designating those involved in unauthorised drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean. No names are on the list...

Basel Committee consults on AML cooperation

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision is consulting on draft guidelines on interaction and cooperation between prudential and AML/CFT supervision. It wants to enhance the effectiveness of banks’ AML/CFT...

NCA publishes 2019 SARs report

The latest annual report on SARs from NCA highlights: a record number of SARs processed (over 475,000); an increase of over 50% in DAML SARs; and over £131m denied to criminals as a result of DAML requests. Average...

FSB holds Paris plenary

The FSB Plenary met in Paris to review vulnerabilities in the global financial system and to discuss advances in FinTech.  The Plenary also agreed its work programme for 2020. Current vulnerabilities The Plenary...

FATF consults on digital identity

FATF is consulting on the use of digital ID systems for CDD.  It has published some currently unapproved guidance and is asking for views on a number of key issues. It asks for comment by 29 November.

SRA calls for more AML action

The Solicitors’ Regulation Authority has updated its warning notice to solicitors, stressing the need to have in place appropriate AML measures.  Despite previous warnings, it still found many firms did not have...

New AML and sanctions articles

We have written extended versions of FIN posts for Financial Regulation International and Money Laundering Bulletin:

Take care before you charge: acquiring criminal property; and
The third arm of US sanctions?

Treasury updates high-risk jurisdictions

Treasury has updated its AML advisory notice, following the recent FATF meeting.  There is no change to the advice on North Korea and Iran.  The counties in relation to which Treasury recommends firms take appropriate...

Regulatory risks of Stablecoins in focus

The emergence of global stablecoins has been a focus point over the past few days, with the FSB, FATF and the G7 Working Group on Stablecoins all publishing statements on the impact and risks of the development of these...

FCA writes to UK Finance on SARs and STORs

FCA has published a letter it wrote to UK Finance in September explaining its responsibilities in relation to SARs and STORs under MAR.  The key point the letter makes is to stress that, while FCA works closely with the...

FCA consults on AML crypto supervision costs

FCA is consulting on how it will recover the costs it will incur when it becomes the AML/CTF supervisor for crypto-asset business from 10 January 2020.  Treasury has not yet finalised the regulations that will implement...

OFSI publishes annual report

OFSI’s annual review for 2018-2019 highlights: the first imposition of monetary penalties; work to prepare for Brexit; the positive reaction to OFSI in the FATF evaluation; that during the year 32 regimes were...

Treasury approves JMLSG Chapter 17 changes

Treasury has approved revisions to Chapter 17 of Part 2 of the JMLSG guidance. The chapter covers syndicated lending, and has been rewritten by the Loan Market Association. Among the changes are content that: explains...

ESAs publish AML risk opinion

The ESAs have published their second joint opinion on the ML/TF risks affecting the EU’s financial sector. Its key concerns are around monitoring and reporting of suspicious transactions, particularly for...

ESMA consults on MAR review

ESMA is consulting on its required review of MAR. Its paper looks at many issues including: whether to include spot FX within MAR; differing concepts of inside information and delayed disclosure of it; whether the...

EU Presidency notes AML way forward

The Presidency of the EU has noted the substantial enhancements to the AML/CFT framework over recent years but has nevertheless expressed concern on: differences in interpretation and wide national discretion in framing...

BoE reports on 2018 cyber simulation exercise

BoE has reported on the outcomes of its 2018 sector wide exercise (SIMEX), which tested how the UK finance sector would react to a prolonged and broad cyber attack. The exercise, which took place in real time, involved...

MEPs criticise poor AML compliance

MEPs say lack of co-operation and poor information sharing between authorities and FIUs are the main obstacles to preventing money laundering, but also say national authorities should have sufficient resource and power...