The Money Laundering Regulations 2017 strengthen enforcement of the anti-money laundering legislation.
They require all firms that provide accountancy services; trust and company services; or related services such as tax advice, audit or insolvency, to be supervised for compliance by HMRC or by one of the specified professional bodies (also known as anti-money laundering supervisory authorities).
The regulations apply to the following areas of business:
Some ICAEW members in practice do not consider themselves to be in the scope of the regulations, however, anyone whose business provides any of the following services needs to consider carefully whether the regulations apply.
ICAEW is a supervisory authority under Schedule 3 to the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 (MLR17). HM Treasury recognises the Practice Assurance scheme as a suitable means for supervising our members. We have no alternative way of offering supervision to member firms or non-member firms.
Firms that provide trust and company services as part of their main accountancy practice, and who meet the definition of a member firm, will be supervised by ICAEW for all their work.
We automatically supervise our member firms under MLR17 through ICAEW’s Practice Assurance (PA) scheme. The scheme provides a framework of quality assurance principles, and offers practice support and advice, together with monitoring visits.
There are many situations where members are within the scope of MLR17 but are not automatically supervised and subject to ICAEW’s PA scheme because:
Firms that don’t meet the definition of a member firm but are within the scope of MLR17, can apply to ICAEW to join the PA scheme and register for anti-money laundering supervision. In order to apply, at least one principal in the firm must be an ICAEW member or an affiliate member, or the firm must be owned by a firm which has at least one ICAEW member or affiliate member as a principal.
If your firm is not already part of the PA scheme, you can apply to us for AML supervision.
If your firm already has a C00 number and has completed an annual return in the last 12 months, please send us:
If your firm doesn’t have a C00 number or you haven’t completed an annual return in the last 12 months, please send us:
Please email your completed forms to email@example.com or send them to us by post.
Quality Assurance Department (AMLR)
321 Avebury Boulevard
Please refer to these guidance notes as you complete the forms.
We will review the information you've provided in your application to confirm your firm requires supervision and is eligible to be supervised by ICAEW. We then draw up a standard contract. This includes the following obligations on the firm:
We agree fees on a firm-by-firm basis based on individual circumstances and risk, which we assess during the application process. For example, under normal circumstances a firm with one ICAEW principal and one non-ICAEW member principal should expect to pay no more than £336 (plus VAT) per year.
We charge an application fee when you submit the signed contract to ICAEW. This is calculated on a pro-rata basis for the period from the start of the contract to 31 December. We will then bill the annual fee on a calendar-year basis.
We will conduct a monitoring visit typically once every four to eight years. The timing is determined by an agreed cycle according to the size of the firm. We may visit large or high-risk firms more frequently.
After successfully addressing any matters identified in your firm’s monitoring visit, your firm can apply for approval to use the legend ‘A member of the ICAEW Practice Assurance scheme’.
ICAEW has prepared a flowchart, used by the Anti-Money Laundering Supervisors Forum, to help firms identify who their supervisory body should be. The flowchart will be of particular use if a member firm, or PC holder, thinks there may be more than one supervisory authority that can supervise their anti-money laundering activities.
It is important to note that the flowchart only denotes who the supervisory authority should be, not how they will supervise. For example, ICAEW is the AML supervisor of a non-member firm, that is audit-registered or DPB-licensed with us but the firm must apply for an agreement for Practice Assurance services as it is not a member firm and therefore not included in the Practice Assurance regime, which is our only recognised scheme for AML supervision.
If you have any questions about how to apply the flowchart to your circumstances, you can call Advisory Services on +44 (0) 1908 248 250.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has stated it will supervise our firms that are also authorised firms under the Financial Services and Markets Act for FCA-authorised activities. We will supervise non-authorised activities through our PA scheme for our member firms. If your firm is not a member firm, it will need to apply for separate supervision of the non-regulated work. We continue to liaise with the FCA and other supervisors to prevent overlapping AML/CFT regulation.
Following considerable input from ICAEW, HM Treasury has agreed to certain changes in the interpretation of the scope of MLR17. These changes are good news for most of our non-executive directors, interim managers and those involved in sub-contracting accountancy services. A number of individuals and firms, that would have had to comply, are now outside the scope of the regulations.
HMRC guidance identifies businesses which are required to register with HMRC, and gives guidance on how to register.
Registration - Are you in or out?, sets out what these policy changes mean for ICAEW members. In summary:
If you need supervision but do not meet the definition of a member firm, or do not require a practising certificate, you can apply to ICAEW for anti-money laundering supervision. We require at least one principal in the firm to be an ICAEW member or an affiliate member or the firm must be owned by a member firm.
Visit the how to apply to ICAEW for anti-money laundering supervision section above to find out what being supervised by ICAEW will mean for you.
If you come across an accountancy service provider (ASP) or trust and company service provider (TCSP) that does not appear to be regulated under the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 or appears to be ignoring the regulations, please consider completing the following steps.
ICAEW's professional standards team produces 'Anti-money laundering - the essentials', a newsletter to help you keep up-to-date on the key changes in the money laundering regime and help inform your risk assessment, policies and procedures.