For those running their own business, or who are involved in commercial life generally, it is critically important to be fully aware of the UK's extensive anti-money laundering legislation and to remain informed about any developments in this area. Significant changes have taken place in respect of this, with the introduction of the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017, which replace the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 and bring in a number of changes to the UK's anti-money laundering regime.
For those accused of money laundering, it is vital that they have the best legal expertise at hand in order to conduct a robust defence to any charges made against them. The legal specialists at Wilford Smith are experts in advising on money laundering investigations, providing guidance and representation for both directors and employees who find themselves unexpectedly involved, as suspects, in the investigation process. Call us today to find out how we can help.
What are the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017?
The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 seek to tackle money laundering and the funding of terrorism by incorporating European Union law into domestic law in the UK. They place obligations on businesses and professionals such as credit organisations, accountants and estate agents to have in place safeguards to protect against potential money laundering. These include duties to carry out customer due diligence, to keep customer records, and to have procedures and policies in place to monitor unusual financial activity.
The 2017 Regulations make a number of significant changes to the way money laundering is targeted by investigating and prosecuting authorities, by changing the approach to customer due diligence, improving transparency in relation to beneficial ownership of companies and trusts, and improving the effectiveness of sanction enforcement. This new legislation takes a more risk-based approach, introducing a series of internal controls and procedures that businesses must carry out, and imposing additional obligations on managers and senior employees. Examples include the requirement for enhanced due diligence (EDD) to be carried out when transactions involve individuals established in high-risk third countries or a “Politically Exposed Person”. There are also additional prescribed procedures whereby a relevant person must analyse the business’s potential exposure to money laundering or terrorist financing, producing a written risk assessment report, and translating these findings into policies.
Who is covered by the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017?
The 2017 Regulations impose obligations on “relevant persons” requiring them to implement management procedures, which will enable the business to detect money laundering activity and the funding of terrorism. Those individuals identified as “relevant persons” remain largely unchanged from the 2007 Regulations, these being persons acting in the course of a business of the following types:
- financial institutions;
- credit institutions;
- auditors and insolvency practitioners;
- external accountants and tax advisors;
- independent legal professionals;
- trust or company service providers;
- estate agents;
- high value dealers; and
- gambling providers.
It should be noted that all gambling providers are covered by the 2017 Regulations, rather than merely casinos operating licence holders, as was previously the case under the 2007 Regulations. Obligations on trustees in regards to transparency of beneficiaries have also been extended.
The 2017 Regulations do not apply to businesses with a turnover of less than £100,000, increased from £64,000 under the previous Regulations.
Contact our UK Money Laundering Defence Solicitors Today
With years of experience representing clients in relation to money laundering accusations, the Criminal Defence Solicitors at Wilford Smith are committed to providing you with an incredibly high-level service. We take a ruthless approach to developing a top-level strategy for you, ensuring the best possible outcome in any case. Our solicitors take pride in their reputation for unique representation, giving our clients a service that is exceptionally strategic and results-driven, and can attract the highest calibre barristers to provide support when necessary. We know how challenging it is to be subject to a money laundering investigation, and will ensure that you are given clear, effective advice as part of our client-focused and highly personal service.
Our Criminal Defence Lawyers are based in Sheffield and London, and provide services to clients throughout England and Wales. Contact us today on 01709 828 044 to find out how we can help.