Anti-money laundering update September 2021

Recorded on: 10/09/2021

Since 2017 we have had four sets of anti-money laundering regulations – the 2017 regulations and three sets of amendment regulations – one for each year subsequently. And, we have had a new Legal Sector Affinity Group guidance note (all 212 pages of it), published early in 2021. As the lockdown eases, the period of regulatory restraint that we enjoyed over the last year has also faded into the background and the SRA has found new vigour in its approach to compliance.

Firms are now being asked questions not only about their firm-wide risk assessments, but also about their client and matter risk assessments, enquiries into source of wealth (as distinct from source of funds), their resourcing of MLCO and MLRO roles, and the prevalence of the RTFM problem. Further, investigations might suggest that more rigorous record-keeping may be in order, too.

This update will consider the basics of the legislative regime and will explore the approach of the SRA, in particular to the blizzard of bureaucracy with which law firms now have to comply.

Topics covered will include:

  • Key financial crimes, including FinCEN revelations, sanctions list changes and Covid-related cybercrime
  • Key Proceeds of Crime Act (PoCA) duties and legislative risks
  • Overlaps with frauds and scams
  • The attitude of the National Crime Agency to suspicious activity reports (SARs)
    • Key inclusions
    • How should they be drafted to maximise their effectiveness?
  • Key inclusions of the Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing Regulations 2017 as amended by the 2019, 2020 and 2021 regulations
  • Risk assessments – the three layers: treasury, sectional regulators and professional firms
  • Regulators’ investigations – key enquiries and things to focus on
  • Customer due diligence (CDD) – the key aspects
    • Getting the key documentation
    • Vetting the key documentation
    • Source of wealth and funds investigations
  • Electronic searches – the way forward; new technology and extra assurances
  • What to do if you come across a politically-exposed person (PEP)
  • Other considerations: ongoing monitoring; keeping CDD up-to-date; and scrutinising transactions throughout (with suggested templates)


Watch a two minute preview of the webinar


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