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SRA takes 'robust stance' on anti-money laundering compliance

Regulator to ensure solicitors report suspicious transactions to appropriate authorities 

8 September 2014

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The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is increasing its efforts to ensure UK law firms do not become involved in money laundering activity and are compliant with the various regulations and legislation associated with anti-money laundering.

Starting today, the SRA will be working with firms to ensure they have robust systems in place to guard against solicitors becoming involved in money laundering activity. This will include closer engagement with those firms identified by the SRA as beining most at risk and also providing support and guidance across the whole of the profession.

The SRA's chief executive, Paul Philip, said: "Law firms often handle large sums of money, and this means they attract those who seek to launder the proceeds of crime. We want to work with the profession to ensure that all firms, no matter how large or small, have the systems in place to guard against money laundering and that they are compliant with the current regulations and legislation.

"We will also be testing the systems used within firms to report money laundering, and how widely these systems are known within each firm."

Philip continued: "We also want to ensure solicitors are meeting their legal obligations to report suspicious transactions to the appropriate authorities. The SRA will be taking a robust stance on anti-money laundering compliance and will deal promptly with any firm that that transgresses the rules.

"Our work will focus initially on those firms deemed at highest risk, but all firms need to be aware of the issue. There will be serious consequences for those who fail to take their obligations seriously."

The SRA will report its findings early next year.

This story was first published in sister publication Solicitors Journal.


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Finance Risk & Compliance