BCL partner John Binns has been featured in the latest issue of Lawyer Monthly, discussing the latest legal trends in money laundering and financial crime.
Here’s an extract from the article:
“It would be a mistake to think that the prevailing conditions of the pandemic might mean that regulators might grant some leeway in compliance with AML laws – they have already signalled the opposite.
Indeed, frauds on support schemes such as furlough and bounce-back loans, and the various opportunities and temptations that come with the pandemic and its economic implications, give rise to unprecedented AML challenges. It seems safe to predict ongoing enforcement activity by the state regulators, with HMRC taking a more active role alongside the FCA and the Gambling Commission, and OFSI likely to take more action on the now independent UK sanctions.
They will undoubtedly be joined by tougher action from the professional regulators, which have been collectively served notice that their enforcement actions to date have been
lacking. It will be interesting to see how that pans out.
The risk, of course, is that those independent regulators, such as the SRA, are prompted to make headlines with what they perceive as easy wins or particularly heinous cases, which are not necessarily the strongest or most deserving of action. There is also the potential for an almighty battle on the principle and detail of the AML levy – law firms should be wary of the principle that they should pay for AML enforcement, even if the amounts charged turn out to be low.”
This article was originally published by Lawyer Monthly on 21/01/2021. You can read the full issue here.