Anti-Money Laundering Compliance

The UK is well known for having one of the most onerous anti-money laundering (“AML”) regimes in the world, thanks to a combination of the very broadly worded criminal offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (“POCA”) (on which see also our separate section on Money Laundering) and the particular duties placed by the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (“MLR”) on the regulated sector, which now extends far beyond those offering financial services.

Increasingly, businesses both within and outside the scope of the MLR need to understand this regime and to operate effective AML compliance systems so as to minimize the risks to them and to their staff. Such systems typically include Customer Due Diligence (“CDD”) and Know Your Customer (“KYC”) checks, and the appointment of a Money Laundering Reporting Officer (“MLRO”). Where appropriate, they will also include making online Suspicious Activity Reports (“SARs”) to the National Crime Agency (“NCA”).

BCL provides expert advice to businesses and MLROs on creating and reviewing AML compliance systems, including CDD and KYC checks, with a particular emphasis on their practical application and suitability to the particular needs of the business (this may also include advice on sanctions, for which see our separate section on Sanctions and Export Controls). We also provide particular advice on whether, when and how to submit a SAR to the NCA, including how to maximize the chances of obtaining any necessary consents for a particular transaction, and minimize adverse consequences under POCA (including, where necessary, assistance with internal investigations). We also provide expert advice to clients investigated for criminal breaches of the regulatory regime.

Our expert team of lawyers includes a past Chair of The Law Society’s Money Laundering Task Force, who contributed to the Law Society’s guidance on money laundering, and has provided expert witness assistance to an overseas common law government in relation to the scope and impact of UK AML legislation. Two of our lawyers are co-authors of Money Laundering Law and Regulation: A Practical Guide, published by Oxford University Press.

Frequently assists high-profile individuals and corporate clients with anti-money laundering compliance.

Chambers UK

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