SRA increases anti money laundering involvement
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is increasing its efforts to help prevent solicitors’ firms from becoming involved in money laundering activity and to help ensure they continue to comply with the various anti money laundering regulations and legislation.
To achieve this the SRA will over the next 8 months be working with firms to ensure robust systems are in place to guard against solicitors becoming involved in money laundering. This will include closer engagement with those firms identified as most at risk, and providing support and guidance across the whole of the profession from large firms to sole practitioners.
Paul Philip, SRA Chief Executive, 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.
“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 their findings after the focus work is completed early next year.