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Pressure increased on accountancy AML supervisors

Firms, especially those supervised by the ACCA will have seen a heightened interest from their regulator in anti-money laundering (AML) compliance over the past few months.  As we have explained previously, the new government regulator, OPBAS was expected to put additional pressure on accountancy bodies to strengthen their AML monitoring. However, the FATF's report on the UK AML regime, published earlier this month also highlights the pressure on professional bodies to strengthen monitoring and increase penalties.
For the accountancy and legal sectors, while remedial actions have been taken, and sanctions levied against both firms and individuals, the scope to enhance sanctions has been identified as an issue by the government.  Supervisors have taken concrete steps to promote a clear understanding of AML/CFT obligations.  In many cases, guidance is developed with the regulated sector clearly demonstrating the supervisors’ willingness to work with the sectors they supervise and their commitment to improve understanding of ML/TF risks
Therefore firms are advised to comply fully with requests from regulators and ensure their procedures are robust as this will be an area of regulatory focus in 2019.