On 26 June 2015, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) announced that it had completed its audit of anti-money laundering procedures at law firms. Early findings suggest that only a small proportion of firms require a follow-up visit.
Since September 2014, the SRA visited over 500 firms that it had identified as being at risk from money laundering attempts. It examined whether or not they had effective checks and balances in place to detect any suspicious activity, and that staff were aware of these systems and knew how to use them. This campaign was in line with the SRA’s 2014-2015 risk outlook, which identified money laundering as a key risk to the industry.
As part of this audit, the SRA published a warning note on appropriate anti money laundering processes, guidance on how to complete suspicious activity reports, and a warning notice emphasising that firms should not allow their client account to be used as a bank account.
During this process, we heard from a number of clients who presented the SRA with AML training reports from the Compliance Learning Management System. The SRA was satisfied with the reports and the level of training all staff received from the new VinciWorks Anti-Money Laundering training.