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Criminal record checks

Under The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (MLR17) ICAEW must approve all beneficial owners, officers and managers (BOOMs) in our supervised firms.

What do you need to do?

Since 26 June 2018, all our supervised firms must take reasonable care to ensure no-one is appointed, or continues to act, as a BOOM without ICAEW’s approval.

ICAEW can only approve a BOOM if that individual has no relevant unspent criminal convictions and so, to prove that we can approve a BOOM, we require all BOOMs to obtain criminal record checks.

Any BOOM with relevant unspent convictions will be committing a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment of up to three years and / or a financial penalty. 

Read our FAQs for more information:

You should use the Disclosure and Barring Service, for criminal record checks in England and Wales, Access NI in Northern Ireland and Disclosure Scotland in Scotland. The basic level check is required.

How will ICAEW review your BOOMs criminal record check certificates?

As a supervisory authority, ICAEW is expected to check that supervised firms are in compliance with Regulation 26 and that all BOOMs do not have a relevant criminal conviction.

  1. Evidence of criminal record checks at monitoring reviews from 26 June 2018
  2. As part of our onsite monitoring reviews, we will ask firms to show us the original criminal record check certificate for each of the BOOMs to demonstrate that all of their BOOMs are validly approved under Regulation 26. We will remind your firm of our need to check compliance when we notify your firm about your monitoring review dates.

    HM Treasury has confirmed that we are not able to accept self-declarations as proof.

    Criminal record checks FAQs

     
  3. Criminal record checks from a sample of high-risk firms
  4. We will ask a sample of firms to provide us with criminal record checks for all of their BOOMs to demonstrate that none of them have relevant criminal convictions. We will base our sample on our assessment of a firm’s money laundering risk profile, which is required under Regulation 17 of MLR17.

    Our risk assessment is based on factors agreed by the accountancy sector AML supervisory authorities, as informed by the National Risk Assessment. These include whether there are higher risk factors present in a firm’s service or client portfolio, the structure of the firm, the geographical reach of the firm or the firm’s channels of engagements. We use information you provide on your annual return to identify these high risk factors. 

Applying for new BOOMs

Since 26 June 2018, any new individual who wants to be a BOOM in one of our supervised firms will have to apply to ICAEW. This is in accordance with Regulation 26 of The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017.

When you notify ICAEW of a new BOOM – either through a regulatory application or through a notification to Records – we will write to you and ask you to submit the original criminal record check certificate for us to review.

You can find more details on how to maintain your firm’s record here and how to make regulatory applications here.

You should use the Disclosure and Barring Service, for criminal record checks in England and Wales, Access NI in Northern Ireland and Disclosure Scotland in Scotland. The basic level check is required.

If you have any queries about your status as a BOOM, completing the new BOOM application form or about Regulation 26 in general, please see our criminal record checks FAQs or contact our Technical Advisory helpline +44 (0)1908 248 250.