By Legal Futures’ Associate LexisNexis
LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, the global information solutions provider, has launched a Customer Due Diligence (CDD) guide to help law firms respond to the growing global issue of money laundering.
The Solicitor’s Regulation Authority recently announced a crackdown on legal firms who aren’t implementing adequate anti-money laundering controls, and an initial review of 59 firms highlighted a quarter were not conducting effective due diligence on Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs). The SRA is now conducting a broader review, writing to 400 practices asking them to demonstrate compliance with the Government’s 2017 Money Laundering Regulations. The crackdown comes amid a climate of heightened regulatory scrutiny and follows the publication of a report by the Office for Professional Body Supervisory Authorities which highlighted anti-money laundering supervisory failings in the legal and accountancy sectors.
In response to this announcement, LexisNexis® Risk Solutions has prepared a Customer Due Diligence Guide to showcase how law firms can apply more robust anti-money laundering (AML) controls to their everyday operations, including checks against PEPs and sanctions lists. Further helping law firms understand the lengths they must go to for compliance, LexisNexis Risk Solutions has also published FAQs about PEPs to give quick insight into this area.
Michael Harris, Director, Financial Crime Compliance and Reputational Risk at LexisNexis® Risk Solutions says:
“The social impact of money laundering has become an increasing problem in the UK and worldwide, and with growing complexities in technology and the ways in which criminals are laundering money, individual solicitors and law firms are under increased regulatory pressure to respond to this growing threat.
Recent scrutiny over solicitors’ roles in identifying and reporting suspicious activity has once again shone a light on the controls that firms need to have in place to prevent dirty money entering the system. Money launderers are continually becoming more sophisticated in their methods, and organisations need to do their utmost to keep up. Without robust compliance the sector will be left vulnerable and at risk of tarnishing its reputation.”