FATF Mutual Evaluation of the UK
In this assessment, adopted at the October 2018 Plenary meeting in Paris and published in December 2018, the UK was classified as having an effective regime in many respects.
However, we were also reminded that the UK is the largest financial services provider in the world and therefore we hold a significant risk that some of the funds that we handle may have links to criminal activity and/or terrorism.
The UK was noted as “aggressively” pursuing money laundering and terrorist financing prosecutions with 1400 convictions each year for money laundering being noted in the FATF assessment. Although despite this, the evaluation does go on to say that the UK needs to modernise and reform our suspicious activity reporting regime and our Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the National Crime Agency, needs to increase its resources, presumably this is connected to the recent recruitment adverts that we have seen from the NCA.
The FATF evaluation also speaks of the UK being a global leader in promoting corporate transparency and how our regulated and supervised firms are subject to comprehensive AML/CFT requirements.
However, the intensity of the supervision was found to be inconsistent across all business sectors and the UK was advised “to ensure that supervision of all entities is fully in line with the significant risks the UK faces.”
Maybe we shall see the National Economic Crime Centre (NECC) and the Office for Professional Body AML Supervision (OPBAS) picking up the reigns on this point.