£255 each year is the estimated cost of the impact of money laundering to every household in the UK.
When you see that figure, you really start to understand the size of the problem that is money laundering. It becomes clearer why criminals will look to target law firms, and other professionals, who hold money on behalf of their clients or who carry out transactions that can assist criminals to launder money. Against this backdrop, requests to all of us as consumers, to prove who we are or where our money comes from, start to make sense.
It’s also why CILEx Regulation has developed such a clear focus over the past two years on helping its firms understand the steps they need to take to protect both the public and themselves from being targeted by criminals.
We are working closely with various organisations on these challenges to identify how we can create a robust supervisory regime. Our actions are informed by reports such as the recent Law Commission report, the Financial Action Task Force report, the Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS) assessment report and the HM Treasury Anti-Money Laundering Supervision Report 2017-18. We will be involved in the reform work on how Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) can be more effectively submitted and how the 5th Money Laundering Directive translates into new regulations.
This year will see CILEx Regulation publish its first anti-money laundering supervision report. It provides an overview of the supervision the regulator has already carried out as well as plans for future years. The report is a significant step in giving this important area the prominence it deserves.
I am committed to supporting our team in their efforts to:
- protect consumers from risks associated with money laundering
- identify those individuals and firms who need to be supervised
- ensure that our supervised firms have access to the information they need
- make sure firms are meeting their responsibilities
- ensure we have the necessary penalties to act as an effective deterrent to those thinking of committing or aiding money laundering activities
The information provided by individuals and the private sector is vital in helping law enforcement agencies identify the proceeds of crime and investigate money laundering and wider criminality. It is therefore crucial that we all work together to help combat money laundering and the social and economic harm it brings.