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Government Takes Action to Tackle Money Laundering &Fraud

As the new Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill is being scrutinised in the House of Lords, the Home Secretary Amber Rudd has announced a new national economic crime centre to tackle fraud and money laundering schemes. Rudd will also be chairing a new economic crime strategic board to drive action who will agree on strategic priorities and to ensure the right resources are allocated to our law enforcement agencies to tackle economic crime. This is in addition to several other developments brought in to help quash high-level economic crime, curb the exploitation of the vulnerable, and stop criminals profiting from fraud, money laundering and corruption. An anti-corruption strategy which sets out domestic and international anti-corruption priorities and establishes a long-term framework for tackling corruption has also been established. The strategy seeks to reduce threats to national security, create stronger economic opportunities and to promote greater public trust and confidence in our institutions.

The stability of the UK economy and its status as an international financial centre is currently at risk as a result of large-scale money laundering. The government's most recent national risk assessment, shows large-scale money laundering through UK businesses is substantial, and laundering through capital markets is seeing an increase in recent years. Costing each household around £255 a year, and undermining our financial institutions, the government is now determined to stop financial crime in its tracks and gain more control over this highly complex and fast-moving industry.

The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill

The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill is intended to set out a post-Brexit framework for UK anti-money laundering measures and is a necessary step to put the government in line with international policy as well as being crucial for tackling high-level financial crimes posing a major threat to our institutions. Once ratified, the Act will have significant implications for not only the UK's financial and professional services in terms of regulation but also for anyone conducting business in the UK, substantially increasing the compliance burden on the private sector.

The government ministers will be able to define the scope of preventative obligations such as risk assessments and maintaining registers and records, as well as mechanisms for enforcement. Whether these obligations are extended beyond the private sector will also be debated, as well as whether to introduce sanctions for illegal activity carried out by British citizens abroad. The powers the Act will grant be focussed to combating money laundering and terrorist financing as well as any other threat to the integrity of the international financial system.

Economic Crime Centre

The new national economic crime centre proposed will operate within the National Crime Agency (NCA) and its purpose will be the coordination of the national response to economic crime, backed by intelligence and analytics capabilities with assistance from other government, law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, as well as resources from the private sector.

FCA Watchdog

A new watchdog within the Financial Conduct Authority has also been introduced in December which will strengthen the cause against money laundering in the UK. The Office for Professional Body AML Supervision (OPBAS) will improve standards and communication between law enforcement agencies and supervisors, helping to eliminate potential vulnerabilities caused by several organisations supervising the same sector, it will oversee twenty-two accountancy and legal professional body AML supervisors.

In addition to these developments, the Law Commission is also reviewing the law on confiscation in the Proceeds of Crime Act with the aim of improving the process and enforcement of confiscation orders, and the government will also make reforms to the way suspicious activity is reported and recorded.

The recent changes will without a doubt have consequences that will be felt by organisations and individuals across the board, but the biggest impact will be with the financial institutions who be subject to the new compliance regulations, and additional checks and balances that the new regime will be putting in place.

Even the most experienced, prudent professional or businessperson can unwittingly become a conduit for money laundering, resulting in penalties and prosecution, and may have a profound effect on your liberty, your professional/business reputation, and your financial situation.

Our team of experts can advise you on your existing anti-money laundering policies, can help you and your company set up a system with the latest cutting-edge advice, ensuring you avoid non-compliance penalties and prosecution.

We have a long history of representing individuals facing such proceedings brought by FCA/IMRO/BERR. We advise on compliance on regulatory issues, and if you are under investigation and we also provide strong and reliable representation at Professional tribunals. It is vital that if you are facing such an investigation or if you are concerned that your company's internal safeguards may NOT pass muster, that you instruct lawyers with genuine hands-on experience. Jeffrey Lewis spent years in the City as an investment analyst and counts many City professionals as former colleagues and clients. His knowledge and experience in City institutions is second to none, and he has successfully defended countless investigations over the years, in both regulatory and criminal proceedings.

Why Lewis Nedas Law?

At Lewis Nedas Law, you can rely on us to deliver a high-quality service at a reasonable cost. We are a boutique law firm with over thirty years’ experience of defending corporate and financial crime and white-collar fraud. We have an expert understanding of the industry and the various prosecution and regulatory agencies and have an excellent record of success when representing clients dealing with enforcement agencies.

Contact our Financial Crime Solicitors London Today

Our highly skilled lawyers have the experience and knowledge but without the City of London overheads or steep hourly rates. We work closely with exceptional Counsel where appropriate.

We will guide you as to the most effective ways of enabling us to give you the best service we can, while also keeping our fees down.

This article is intended to be no more than a general guide and does not comprise legal advice. You are strongly advised to take legal advice before making or resisting any application to the Court.

For high-quality legal advice and assistance on money laundering matters, contact us today on 02073872032 or complete our online contact form.

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