The money laundering regulations have been around for 10 years. All accountants need to be aware of their obligations under those regulations and keep our staff fully up to speed with any changes to the law.
If we are a member of a professional body such as the ICAEW, that body will be our supervisory authority for money laundering regulations. If we have no other supervisory authority we must register with HMRC. Penalties can apply if our firm is not correctly registered for the money laundering regs.
The new money laundering regulations 2017 came into effect on 26 June 2017. Their purpose is to ensure that money which could be used to fund terrorist operations is not “washed” through legitimate businesses.
The new regulations require us to make a written risk assessment for our firm, which lists all the factors we have considered, such as the geographical spread of our clients and how we deliver services to those clients. If we act for clients who are based in other countries it is particularly important to obtain independent confirmation of their identities.
The new regulations also require us to screen our own employees for competence, conduct and integrity, particularly those who are involved in complying with the money laundering regulations.