In December 2018, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an organisation founded on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering, stated;
‘…the UK had a well developed & robust regime to effectively combat money laundering & terrorist financing. However, it needed to strengthen its supervision, & increase the resources of its financial intelligence unit.’
The FATF conducted an assessment of the UK’s anti-money laundering & counter terrorist financing (AML/CFT), and as a result of this assessment HMRC has decided to inject money into the unit to increase supervision for those organisations that are not supervised by a professional accounting or tax body for AML purposes.
Such businesses are required to register for supervision with HMRC, which promises to provide in return more staff available with face-to-face and desk-based intervention with registered and un-registered businesses. They will also aim to provide more educational products and activities, including webinars & online learning programs. They hope the education will help businesses to approach all AML activities correctly from the outset.
The new fees for anti-money laundering supervision, which came into effect on 1st May 2019, has disgruntled many tax & accounting businesses.
- the annual registration fee increased from £130 to £300 per premises for businesses with a turnover of £5,000 or above
- the annual registration fee increased to £180 for businesses with a turnover below £5,000
- the charge for fit and proper (F&P) testing increased to £150 from £100.
- the approval check fee will remain at £40
On 15th April 2019, the Treasury issued a consultation of the introduction of EU’s Fifth Money Laundering Directive (5MLD) into UK’s national law. The consultation closes on 19th June 2019 & the impact of this will highlight where accountants may have to further tighten their AML compliance. The 5MLD will expand the definition of a tax adviser in terms of money laundering compliance, as well as highlight diligience around electronic money & individual identification, based on FATF recommendation to understand the ownership & control structure of customers.