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AML the essentials, issue 23 contains useful information on HMRC Agent accounts, the SARs online portal and Government’s Annual Report on AML supervision.

Regulatory Update:

HMRC Agent online account

Some firms have reported that their HMRC agent online account has been suspended for self-assessment because HMRC is seeking confirmation that the firm is supervised under MLR17. If you require documentary evidence to provide to HMRC, you should contact AMLR@icaew.com

Improvements to SARs online portal

The way you submit Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) to the National Crime Agency (NCA) is changing. As part of the SARs online programme the NCA are replacing the current SAR online portal. Watch this short video for an online demo of how it will look, the reasons for the changes and how those changes can help improve financial crime intelligence. The changes aren’t due to go live until next year and ICAEW will keep you informed of the progress.

Government publishes Annual supervision report for FY 2020/21

Government has published its annual report which provides information about the performance of AML/CTF supervisors in 2019/20 and fulfils the Treasury’s obligation, under Section 51 of the MLRs, to publish an annual report on supervisory activity.

Read ICAEW’s responses to recent government consultations

The key messages in our responses included:

  • Government should recognise the key role the regulated sector has in acting as gatekeeper. The accountancy sector prevents criminals and money launderers from doing business in the UK using a risk-based approach to customer take-on and ongoing relationship assessment. Elements of the call for evidence disproportionately focused on SARs and the gathering of high quality intelligence – while this is important, it is not the focus of the AML regime.
  • The MLRs should be strengthened to allow for reciprocal protected sharing between the regulated sector and law enforcement. Improved information and intelligence sharing is necessary to fully understand the AML risks within the sector.
  • The fact that OPBAS does not have oversight over all supervisors, particularly in areas where statutory supervisors/PBSs overlap, is a weakness in the system – supervision would be stronger if OPBAS had oversight powers over all supervisory authorities. The supervisory regime would also be more robust if OPBAS had the power to assess the effectiveness of the statutory supervisors as well as the PBSs. Currently, there is no independent ongoing assessment of the effectiveness of the FCA, HMRC and the Gambling Commission.


Payment diversion fraud – a growing fraud and AML risk

Read the NCA’s latest Amber Alert on payment diversion fraud to identify ways in which you can protect your, or your client’s business.

Associated ICAEW resources:

Recommended cyber crime week resources

ICAEW AML Supervision Report

Read our 2020/21 AML supervision report to understand the top ten most common findings we saw during the period, and how to avoid them.

The report contains a reminder of the wide range of resources available to you. It also highlights improvements to ICAEW’s intelligence-gathering and intelligence-sharing capability.

Thematic review: Trust and company service providers

Use this new guidance to identify the money laundering risks that are linked to offering trust and company services, and understand how to mitigate and avoid these risks. This information has been put together using findings from our thematic review with firms.

AML Bites: new videos available

Watch our bite-sized videos, providing you with the basics on popular money laundering topics. Each video lasts around 10 minutes and is freely available for all to view. These videos are aimed at money laundering reporting officers, compliance principals and people in regulatory roles. These could also be used as a training tool for your staff. Two new videos have been launched focusing on Suspicious Activity Reporting.

CDD webinar

Watch the recording of our webinar on Customer Due Diligence and access the Q&A from the session.

Money laundering risk assessments webinar

Join our panel of MLRO's, AML professionals and members of ICAEW's supervisory team on how to perform a money laundering risk assessment.

SARs in Action issue 13: November 2021

Publication from the National Crime Agency

Updated helpsheet: Change of professional appointment – outgoing accountant

The revised checklist provides an example of how you might reply if you have made a SAR about the client.

Disciplinary update: December 2021

Read about recent cases where we have taken disciplinary action against ICAEW member firms and ICAEW members for AML matters.

ICAEW risk bulletins

As well as the AASG risk bulletins that are sent to money laundering reporting officers and compliance principals, we have also published three ICAEW bulletins that are available for all to access.

Read and share our bulletins to help you and your colleagues stay alert:

Raise an AML concern

If you believe a firm supervised by ICAEW is breaching the Money Laundering Regulations 2017, you can raise your concern confidentially.