FIN.

Category - Financial Crime Prevention

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...

FATF updates compliance table

FATF has published further reports on Iceland, Hong Kong, China and Greece’s AML/CFT measures and as a result updated its consolidated table of assessment ratings.

OFSI publishes frozen asset review guidance

OFSI has published guidance on the annual frozen asset review reporting form.  The guidance explains the requirement for all persons who hold or control funds or economic resources that belong to or are controlled by a...

Government answers AML questions

In response to questions posed in Parliament, the Secretary of State for the Home Department confirmed that the UK has not opted in to the Directive on criminal sanctions for money laundering our legislation is already...

EBA speaks on AML

Jose Manuel Campa, EBA Chair, spoke to ECON on the importance of consistent application of AML legislation. He explained the ESAs’ current powers, and the guidelines already published. He said EBA is working on...

FCA speaks on skimmers and scammers

Charles Randell has spoken on FCA’s commitment to the Economic Crime Plan and the importance of embedding fraud prevention in the development of new savings and investment policies. He encompassed within...

PRA writes to banks on AML risks

PRA has written a Dear CEO letter bringing banks’ attention to EBA’s opinion on the ML/TF risks in prudential supervision, and confirm it will continue to consider these concerns as part of its prudential...

HMRC cracks down on ML breaches

HMRC has updated its list of actions against businesses that are not complying with the MLR and published details of a £7.8m fine levied on a money transmitter.  It imposed the fine on Touma Foreign Exchange Ltd after...

Tabernula defendant imprisoned

As a result of a conviction for money laundering following the “operation Tabernula” investigations, Richard Baldwin has been sentenced to 5 years and 8 months imprisonment.  This follows convictions of...

NCA gets UWO against Northern Irish woman

NCA served an unexplained wealth order , its 4th in total, on a Northern Irish woman living in London with suspected links to organised crime, in respect of her financing of 6 properties worth over £3m.

Transparency International Annual Plan

TI has published its annual plan for 2019-20. Key points include: the growth of TI to over 50 staff in the past 10 years should now lead to a period of stabilisation; the key successes of last year included the...

FATF updates compliance ratings

FATF has published an updated table of assessment ratings. The ratings show how each member has fared in the assessments of compliance with each FATF standard. It has also updated its procedures for its fourth round of...

Commission calls for better AML measures

The European Commission is not happy with the levels of domestic implementation of various AML/CTF measures in Member States. It has carried out research and issued a Communication and several reports.  Key conclusions...

JMLSG updates on Guidance

JMLSG has thanked all those who responded to its proposed changes on the chapters in Part II of its guidance addressing credit unions and brokerage services to funds. It has now put the finalised chapters to Treasury...

SFO confirms DPA with metals tech firm

The SFO has announced that in 2016 it entered into a DPA with Sarclad Ltd, a technology provider for the metals industry. The DPA related to charges of corruption and failure to prevent bribery between June 2004 and...

FCA discusses AI in financial services

In a recent speech, Christopher Woolard of the FCA considered three lenses through which the FCA views the issues relating to AI: what are new, and what are existing issues; how to ensure that AI creates value for...

Government publishes economic crime plan

The Government, in conjunction with UK Finance, has published its 2019-2022 economic crime plan, setting out how it proposes to progress the priorities agreed by the Economic Crime Strategy Board in January.  The key...

HMRC updates MLR appeals guidance

HMRC has updated its website with guidance on how to appeal against an HMRC decision, and how it sets penalties. The guidance explains what HMRC may levy penalties for, and what its remedies are. It also explains that...

Court backs bank on account closure

A payment institution has failed in its action against RBS, after the bank closed the institution’s accounts with it and ended the banking relationship. The payment institution (P) was an FX and payment services...

Treasury publishes AML supervision report

Treasury has published its AML and CTF supervision report for 2017-18. The report highlights the UK’s FATF evaluation report – which it notes recognises the UK regime as the strongest assessed to date.  But...

FCA publishes annual report

FCA’s Annual Report and Accounts for 2018/19 lists its highlights from the past year, and appends several reports from specific business focuses.  FCA notes that alongside deciding over 4,000 applications for...

FCA updates MLR registration page

FCA has updated its page giving guidance to firms that are not authorised but nevertheless require to be registered with FCA for the purposes of the MLRs (such as commercial lenders, financial leasing entities and own...