Money laundering regulations


The Money Laundering Regulations 2007 were introduced as a result of a directive made by Europe, which individual member states were required to implement. The Money Laundering Regulations 2007 were intended to reduce the amount of money laundering that takes place through professionals and in particular, legal professionals. As a result of these regulations, the vast majority of legal professionals are subject to the Regulations and failure to comply with them is a criminal offence.

Previous money laundering regulations have tended to adopt a tick-box approach to money laundering prevention. The 2007 Regulations have placed further obligations on solicitors to understand transactions and their clients and have attempted to move away from the tick-box approach. Solicitors are now required to assess the risk of money laundering that each client poses and use relevant anti-money laundering procedures as required.

One of the most notable introductions from the new Money Laundering Regulations is the introduction of the requirement for firms to have a ‘nominated officer’. The nominated officer is required to make the final decision on whether any person or transaction needs to be reported to the Serious Organised Crimes Agency. If any solicitor in the firm suspects money laundering to be occurring, they must report the transaction to the nominated officer. The nominated officer will consider the transaction and decide if it needs to be reported to SOCA. If it is reported, then no-one in the firm must inform the client - if they do, they could be guilty of the offence of 'tipping off' under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

If you would like to obtain legal advice on money laundering regulations, Contact Law can put you in touch with a specialist criminal solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding criminal solicitors please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.


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