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In a spin

Anti-money laundering procedures are going under the microscope in 2019. Hannah Gannagé-Stewart looks at why no firm is exempt from needing top-notch AML compliance going forward

1 March 2019

The UK may have leading anti-money laundering (AML) practices but that didn’t stop the legal and accountancy sectors finding themselves subject to criticism in a report published by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in December.

FATF is a 30-year-old inter-governmental body tasked with setting AML standards for 38 member states. The publication of its mutual evaluation report at the end of 2018 follows a 14-month assessment of the UK’s AML supervisory bodies, including the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and the Law Society.

Among seven priority actions listed in the 250-page report was a recommendation that HMRC continue to address “significant weaknesses” in AML supervision by legal and accountancy sector supervisors, of which there are 22 separate bodies.

It said they needed to ensure consistency in their understanding of money laundering and terrorist financing risk, take a risk-based approach to supervision and ensure that effective and dissuasive sanctions are applied.

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