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ICAEW and HMRC launch economic crime educational film

Author: ICAEW

Published: 08 Mar 2022

A new educational drama film portraying the downfall of an accountant, trusted business advisor and failing restaurateur as they become embroiled in a money laundering plot with links to human trafficking, will be unveiled today by chartered accountancy body ICAEW and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

All Too Familiar sees renowned British television actors Bill Ward and Kazia Pelka take on leading roles to show how businesses and people can easily fall victim to financial crime and enable criminals involved in money laundering, human trafficking, modern slavery and terrorism, to thrive.

The 16-minute drama, produced by ICAEW in collaboration with HMRC, shows how an accountancy firm could be manipulated into assisting money launderers from an organised crime syndicate and explores whether trust and relationships can cloud professional judgement and inhibit the fight against economic crime.

The third film written and produced by Duncan Wiggetts, Chief Officer of ICAEW’s Professional Standards Department will be launched at a screening at Chartered Accountants’ Hall in the City of London tonight (TUESDAY 8 MARCH 2022).

It has been designed to help accountancy firms consider more carefully how they may be exposed to clients engaging in money laundering and how they might identify red flags, as well as to provoke discussion around the need for greater professional scepticism in relation to the take-on of new clients and unexplained changes in the business of existing clients.

John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, will deliver a keynote address at the event tonight. Other speakers will include Ruth Dearnley OBE, Chief Executive of modern-day slavery and human trafficking prevention charity Stop the Traffik; Michael Izza, Chief Executive of ICAEW; Philip Nicol-Gent, Chair of the ICAEW Regulatory Board and Simon York, HMRC Director of Fraud and Investigations.

As a training resource, All Too Familiar will be available for free in the UK for organisations supervised by ICAEW and HMRC.

Duncan Wiggetts, Chief Officer, ICAEW Professional Standards Department said: 

“We’ve made this film to make ICAEW firms and members more aware how easy it can be to become inadvertent professional enablers of economic crime which may have both financial and a terrible human cost.

“We hope that the messages in All Too Familiar will last long in the memory of all those who watch it and that they remember what happens to the accountants in the film if they are ever tempted in the future not to challenge or question unusual developments at new or existing clients.

“We’re determined to challenge mindsets so professional advisers don’t miss the vital red flags that can devastate lives and livelihoods.” 

Simon York, Director of Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:

“Money laundering supports a raft of harmful crimes that have a devastating effect on victims, communities and economies. So, preventing and tackling it is vital. Both the public and private sectors have a key role to play in this and I am delighted that HMRC has been able to partner with our fellow anti-money laundering supervisor, ICAEW, to produce this film.

“If this film saves one person from being trafficked, prevents one corrupt official stealing money from their country's citizens or stops one international crime group being able to steal UK tax it will have served its purpose.”



There are more than 1.8m chartered accountants and students around the world and 186,500 of them are members and students of ICAEW. They are talented, ethical and committed professionals, which is why all of the top 100 Global Brands employ chartered accountants.

ICAEW promotes inclusivity, diversity and fairness. We attract talented individuals into the profession and give them the skills and values they need to build resilient businesses, economies and societies, while ensuring our planet’s resources are managed sustainably.

Founded in 1880, we have a long history of serving the public interest and we continue to work with governments, regulators and business leaders around the world. And, as an improvement regulator, we supervise and monitor over 12,000 firms, holding them, and all ICAEW members and students, to the highest standards of professional competency and conduct.

ICAEW is proud to be part of Chartered Accountants Worldwide, a global network of 750,000 members across 190 countries, which promotes the expertise and skills of chartered accountants on a global basis.

We believe that chartered accountancy can be a force for positive change. By sharing our insight, expertise and understanding we can help to create strong economies and a sustainable future for all.

*Source: CAW, 2020 – Interbrand, Best Global Brands 2019

Our role as an improvement regulator

Our mission as an improvement regulator is to strengthen trust in ICAEW Chartered Accountants and firms. We do this by enabling, evaluating and enforcing the highest standards in the profession.

ICAEW’s regulatory and conduct roles are separated from ICAEW’s other activities so that we can monitor, support or take steps to ensure change if standards are not met. These roles are carried out by the Professional Standards Department (PSD) and overseen by the ICAEW Regulatory Board (IRB).

Our role is to:

  • authorise ICAEW firms, members and affiliates to undertake work regulated by law: audit, local audit, investment business, insolvency and probate;
  • support the highest professional standards in general accountancy practice through our Practice Assurance scheme;
  • provide robust anti-money laundering supervision and monitoring;
  • monitor ICAEW firms and insolvency practitioners to ensure they operate correctly and to the highest standards;
  • investigate complaints and hold ICAEW firms and members to account where they fall short of standards;
  • respond and comment on proposed changes to the law and regulation; and
  • educate through guidance and advice to help stakeholders comply with laws, regulations and professional standards.