FIN.

Category - Financial Crime Prevention

UK Finance publishes sanctions SI analysis

UK Finance has published a detailed study of the differences between the current UK statutory instruments relating to financial sanctions and their pre-Brexit equivalents. It has conducted a comparison to assess the...

CPI 2020 shows mixed results

Transparency International has published the 2020 CPI, which shows that most countries have made little to no progress in tacking corruption over the past 10 years, but also that more than two-thirds score below 50 on...

LSB publishes CRM Code review

The LSB has published its review into the CRM Code for APP scams. The review of the voluntary code looked to see how effective it has been in providing greater consumer protection, and to see whether it has had an...

NCA publishes SARs reporter booklet

NCA has published a booklet summarising feedback from law enforcement agencies on their use of SARs, which it hopes will be informative in sharing perspectives on the use of SARs and sharing and encouraging best...

TAFA report shows little action

Treasury has published the quarterly report on activity under the Terrorist Asset Freezing etc Act 2010.  The report covers the quarter to end of September 2020, and shows only £108,000 frozen in 47 accounts, and two...

JMLSG signposts Brexit effects

JMLSG has noted the parts of its guidance affected by Brexit. In particular: EEA countries are now third countries; the same level of information is to be provided by UK PSPs regardless of whether funds are being...

FS Bill finishes Commons stages

The Financial Services Bill has now completed its journey through the House of Commons and now moves to the House of Lords. Among the key changes now being debated are extensions to penalties for financial crime-related...

HMRC updates on MLR non-compliance

HMRC has updated its published data on businesses that do not comply with the MLRs. Between February and September 2020 it issued 4 substantial fines for failure to comply with obligations, including a fine of nearly...

FCA Covid financial crime guidance to expire

FCA has updated its pages giving guidance to firms on how to act during the pandemic.  As part of this, it has noted that its statement on how firms should apply financial crime systems and controls will no longer apply...

Reminder: changes to MLRs

Various amendments to the MLRs were made in the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations. Some are already in force, with others yet to take effect some of the changes were minor...

TAFA report shows little movement

Treasury has published its quarterly report on the functioning of TAFA, covering April to June 2020.  The report shows that: total funds of £9,000 were frozen with 6 accounts or payments being frozen, but no new...

UK publishes 2020 NRA

Treasury and the Home Office have published the 2020 National Risk Assessment under the MLRs and presented it to Parliament. The report: looks at what has been done in recent years, including in terms of bringing new...

FCA sets up temporary regime for crypto firms

FCA has set up a temporary registration regime for cryptoasset businesses who have applied for registration with FCA under the MLRs but whose applications FCA is still considering. It is taking FCA longer than hoped to...

EBA pleased at AML college cooperation

EBA has published a report analysing how well AML/CFT supervisory colleges are working.  It is pleased that regulators are putting significant effort into setting up colleges, and has reported on good and poor practice...

Treasury makes Brexit financial crime laws

Treasury has made: the Sanctions Regulations (EU Exit) (Commencement) Regulations 2020: these bring into force the sanctions regulations made under SAMLA to set up thematic or country based regimes; and the second...

OFSI says “prepare for Brexit”

OFSI’s latest blog alerts firms to the changes they will see at the end of the transition period. It notes that: SAMLA provides the UK’s autonomous legal framework for its sanctions regime the FCDO has...

UK publishes retained Blocking Regulation

The DIT has published an information page on the UK Protection of Trading Interests Legislation, which includes the UK retained version of the EU blocking statute.  The laws continue to protect UK persons who trade with...

NCA gets record SARs

NCA’s 2020 SARs report shows a 20% increase on the previous period and a  total of 573,000 SARs. Of these, nearly 62,500 were DSARs – an increase of 81% on the previous period. NCA also reports £172m as the...

Memo of Understanding: FSCS and SFO

A memorandum of understanding between the Serious Fraud Office and the FSCS has been published. The MoU sets out the parties’ intentions to work together in the public interest to achieve appropriate outcomes in...

EBA reminds firms to finalise Brexit plans

EBA has reminded firms that, from the end of the transition period, UK firms can no longer provide services to EU customers on a passporting basis. It notes that: UK financial institutions offering services to EU...

SFO publishes Airline Services DPA

SFO has entered into a DPA with Airline Services Limited, following an investigation into failure to prevent bribery. SFO reports that, under the terms of the DPA, the company accepts responsibility for three counts of...

FATF updates statements

FATF held a plenary meeting on 21-23 October.  Many initiatives are on hold while FATF warns firms about the financial crime risks the pandemic has created, but it has continued to work with countries under increased...

FATF updates recommendations

FATF has updated its recommendations in respect of: Recommendation 1 and its interpretative note, to broaden the existing requirement specifically to require relevant entities to identify and assess the risks of...

SFO publishes DPA guidance

The SFO has published a chapter from its handbook that gives guidance on how it approaches DPAs and engages with companies when it is considering a DPA. The guidance, which is internal guidance for SFO staff and...

MLR Bank Account Portal not yet ready

FCA has confirmed that the Bank Account Portal, which is being set up under the MLRs to enable credit institutions and providers of safe custody services to respond to requests for information from a law enforcement...

FCA: new webpages on whistleblowing

The FCA has launched two new webpages on whistleblowing. The first webpage sets out the process for reporting concerns of wrongdoing to the FCA in confidence and provides guidance on: Making the decision to speak to the...

Commission publishes EU work programme 2021

The European Commission has announced its focus for 2021.  As well as continuing to work on managing the effects of the pandemic, its priorities will include: a “Fit for 55” packages to reduce emissions by...

FSB issues final report on CIRR toolkit

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has published its final report on a toolkit of effective practices for financial institutions’ cyber incident response and recovery (CIRR). The toolkit aims to assist financial...

HMRC publishes MLR risk assessment guidance

HMRC has published risk assessment information to help businesses carry out the money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessment required under the MLRs.  There are separate documents for each of: money services...

FSB reports on global stablecoins

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has published its finalised high-level recommendations for the regulation, supervision and oversight of “global stablecoin” (GSC) arrangements. The report says that GSC...

SFO looks to future challenges

Lisa Osofsky has spoken on future challenges in economic crime.  She focused on: the success of the National Economic Crime Centre in its first 2 years of existence; the refreshed Economic Crime Plan; better engagement...

OFSI publishes annual review

OFSI has published its annual review for the year to March 2020. The review highlights: OFSI’s work to prepare for the end of the transition period; its work on reported breaches and how it decides on the...

FCA opens 2 sandbox windows

FCA has opened two new application windows in its Sandbox – applications for Cohort 7 of the now established regulatory sandbox, and the pilot of a new Digital Sandbox. The emphasis is on firms providing products...

FGC updated for MLR changes

The Financial Crime Guide has been updated to reflect necessary changes consequent on implementation of MLD5. In particular, it now covers new high-risk factor considerations; changed e-money thresholds for CDD; updated...

OFSI publishes quarterly TAFA report

OFSI has published its quarterly report on the operation of TAFA, covering the quarter to end March 2020. At the end of the quarter, just over £100,000 were frozen, but mainly relating to the EU Al-Qaida Regulation...

EU updates on AML initiatives

Valdis Dombrovskis has spoken on financial crime prevention and, in particular on the AML action plan. He is pleased at the support the plan received, and the overwhelming agreement that no action is not an option. They...

FCA reports on regulatory perimeter

FCA has published its second report on the regulatory perimeter. The report looks at: consumer confusion about the perimeter – and when FCA has the power to act. It also notes that customers may be confused as to...

EU proposes crypto-asset market Regulation

The EU has published a proposal for a Regulation on markets in crypto-assets, as part of its Digital Finance package.  The proposal notes many Member States have legislated on issues relating to crypto-assets which has...

FCA and PSR publish annual reports

FCA has published its annual report and accounts for 2019/20. The report notes FCa’s key achievements for the year.  Apart from the obvious measures to address the problems caused by Covid-19, it highlights:...

EBA calls for single AML rulebook

EBA has published its response to the European Commission’s call for advice on how to strengthen the AML/CFT legal framework. It feels the only way to tackle vulnerabilities that come from divergent practices...

FCA censures individual for market abuse

FCA has publicly censured the former CEO of Worldspreads and banned him from any roles linked to regulated activity, as as result of market abuse.  It originally fined Conor Foley around £650,000 but imposed a public...

SFO updates on enforcement activities

Lisa Osofsky has spoken on SFO’s most recent enforcement activity and its priorities for the future. She spoke about how SFO has worked on its priorities of better cooperation, use of technology, intelligence...

FMLC responds on AML action plan

FMLC has responded to the Commission’s consultation on its AML action plan.  The response focuses on: the scope of EU AML legislation on virtual currencies, and how it might be helpful to broaden the definition;...

HMRC publishes list of MLR miscreants

HMRC has published its list of businesses who, over the past tax year, have not complied with their obligations under the MLRs. Over the period, there were 15 “major” penalties, including a fine of nearly...

Wolfsberg updates on effective AML programmes

The Wolfsberg Group has published a statement on steps financial institutions can take to evolve their AML./CTF regimes to meet the key elements of the Wolfsberg effective programme. It outlines the key steps as: assess...

Wolfsberg Group publishes SOW and SOF FAQs

The Wolfsberg Group has published FAQs on how Financial Institutions can identify, mitigate and manage money laundering risks by undertaking Source of Wealth and Source of Funds checks on relevant customers, when...

Up next from FCA

FCA’s latest Policy Development Update heralds: consultation on financial crime reporting during Q3; PS on debt advice levy rates in Q4; CP on exit fees in investment platforms and comparable firms during 2021; PS...

PSR focuses on APP scams

The PSR has stressed the importance of the CRM Code in reimbursing victims of APP scams.  It notes the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way many people make payments, and left many of them vulnerable to fraud. The Code...

Treasury consults on economic crime levy

Treasury is consulting on the introduction of the economic crime levy, announced in the Budget, which aims to raise around £100m per year. It wants views on: the design principles of the levy how it can operate in...

HMRC feeds back on trust registration

HMRC has published a summary of the responses it received to its consultation on MLD5 and the Trust Registration Service.  The consultation had over 100 responses, and the key messages were: most respondents agreed with...

MEPs approve ML action plan

MEPs have resoundingly backed the Commission’s action plan for fighting money laundering and terrorist financing. In a press release, the European Parliament said it “deplores” the incorrect and patchy...

Commission confirms MLD4 enforcement actions

The European Commission has confirmed further actions against Member States for failure correctly to transpose MLD4. It has sent letters of formal notice to Luxembourg, Slovakia and Slovenia, reasoned opinions to...

Up next from FCA

Over the rest of 2020, FCA plans the following: consultations on mortgage borrowing and mortgage prisoners (now overdue), debt advice levy rates and exist fees in investment platforms (Summer 2020) and on financial...

Basel Committee finalises AML/CFT guidelines

The Basel Committee has published the updated version of its guidelines for supervisors on co-operation in relation to the sound management of risks related to money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Among the...

Court of Appeal upholds Cynergy judgement

The Court of Appeal has upheld the judgment that a borrower was justified in its refusal to make payments under a loan where the ultimate beneficial owner of the lender was an OFAC SDN. Cynergy Bank (a UK bank) had...

FCA makes new rules

FCA has published a Handbook Notice covering the rules it made at its May and June Board meetings. changes to COBs in relation to pension transfers, introducing a ban on contingent charging in respect of most advice on...

MLD4 high-risk list in OJEU

The revised list of high-risk third countries for AML purposes has been published in the OJEU. The new list applies from 1 October, and will comprise: Afghanistan Bahamas Barbados Botswana Cambodia Ghana Iraq Jamaica...

FCA reminds crypto businesses to register

FCA has reminded businesses that carry on cryptoasset activity in the UK to register with it for AML purposes, if they have not done so already.  Firms that were carrying on the activities before 10 January 2020 must...

JMLSG upates on Covid-19 risks

JMLSG has reminded firms of FCA’s guidance on managing financial crime risks throughout Covid-19 and has also commented on the disruption the pandemic is causing to documents often relied on for CDD purposes. It...

FCA fines Commerzbank for AML failings

FCA has fined Commerzbank AG London Branch nearly £38m for AML systems and controls failings spanning a 5 year period to September 2017.  The bank benefited from a 30% discount for early settlement. Many of the...

EBA looks to understand derisking

The EBA has issued a call for input better to understand the scale and drivers of derisking and its impact on customers.  It wants to gain better insight into why finacnail institutions prefer to derisk instead of...

FCA updates market abuse pages

FCA has updated the guidance on its website on reporting suspected market abuse. The guidance includes FCA’s expectations in respect of how firms should make market observations in situations where they will not...

Pay.UK heralds COP launch

Pay.UK has heralded the introduction of Confirmation of Payee and has reminded users of the importance of using “first name surname” rather than a nickname on payment details. Its data shows that 34% of...

Europol launches economic crime centre

Europol has launched the European Financial and Economic Crime Centre to give better operational support to Member States and EU bodies fighting financial and economic crime. It has also published a report looking at...