Anti-money laundering bulletin - Summer 2018

Regulatory Update

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Welcome to DLA Piper's Summer 2018 edition of the AML Bulletin.

In this issue we provide updates on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing news, both in the UK and internationally, covering the period from February 2018 to June 2018.

Within this period, the Fifth Money Laundering Directive has been published in the Official Journal of the EU, while in the UK, the SRA published its money laundering thematic review and risk assessment, HM Treasury published a supervision report covering the period from 2015 to 2017, the Serious Fraud Office announced the roll out of artificial intelligence in document analysis, and the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 received royal assent.

Highlights from this issue include:

SRA publish money laundering thematic review and risk assessment

In accordance with the requirements of the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (MLRs 2017), the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) published a risk assessment on money laundering and terrorist financing, identifying the risk factors which it suggests may be significant for regulated firms. The SRA also published a thematic review entitled "Preventing Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism".

AML and CTF supervision report 2015-17 published by HM Treasury

HM Treasury published its sixth report on anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing supervision, providing details of activity undertaken by supervisors in 2015/16 and 2016/17. The report also sets out the next steps for AML supervision, focussing on the intended impact of the MLRs 2017 and the Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS).

Economic crime inquiry launched by Treasury Committee

The Treasury Committee launched an inquiry into economic crime, focussing on anti-money laundering and the sanctions regime, and consumers and economic crime. The deadline for the submission of written evidence was 8 May 2018, and the Committee is currently scheduling oral hearings.

FCA speech on the use of FinTech to detect and disrupt criminal activity

The FCA's Executive Director of Supervision - Investment, Wholesale and Specialists, Megan Butler, delivered a speech centred around the need to "turn technology against criminals". In the speech, Ms Butler encouraged firms to collaborate with their regulators on methods, innovations and technologies that might offer benefit in fighting financial crime.

Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 received royal assent

The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 has now received royal assent, making provision for the UK to enact sanctions and anti-money laundering regulations following the UK's withdrawal from the European Union. The Act will allow the UK to continue to comply with its international obligations post-Brexit, as well as strengthening the powers of the UK government to operate its domestic sanctions regime.

Outcomes of the FATF Plenary meeting

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) held a Plenary meeting in February 2018. At the meeting, the FATF adopted its report to the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors, in which it confirmed that counter terrorist financing remains its top priority. The report also announced a series of action points in relation to the FATF's other key focus areas. Other topics discussed at the Plenary included updates to FATF Guidance on Counter Proliferation Financing, FinTech and RegTech initiatives, and recent developments on de-risking.

MLD5 published in Official Journal of the EU

The Fifth Money Laundering Directive (MLD5) has now been published in the Official Journal of the EU and will come into force on 9 July 2018. MLD5 forms part of the European Commission's Action Plan to strengthen the fight against terrorist financing.

Read the full bulletin as a PDF