UK Launched A New Regulator On Anti-Money Laundering

; posted on
January 25th, 2018

The British government established the Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS). The new organisation is housed within the Financial Conduct Authority, and it constitutes part of a wider package of reforms to strengthen the anti-money laundering (AML) supervisory regime in the country.

The Duty under OPBAS Regulation 2018

On January 18, 2018, the OPBAS Regulations 2018 came into force, under which OPBAS is granted its power and the duty to ensure the professional body AML supervisors meets the standards required by the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 (MLR 2017). In addition, it will be obliged to facilitate collaboration and information sharing between the professional body AML supervisors, statutory supervisors, and law enforcement agencies, ensuring the professional body AML supervisors provide consistently high standards of AML supervision.

Addressee of OPBAS

OPBAS is to oversee the 22 accountancy and legal professional bodies AML supervision in the country which are listed in schedule 1 of the MLR 2017, but it will not directly supervise legal and accountancy firms. “This new watchdog will deepen the Government’s partnership with the private sector as we work together to tackle illicit finance whilst minimising the burdens on legitimate businesses. This sends a clear message to criminals and terrorists that their dirty money is not welcome here,” according to John Glen, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury.

Sources: UK Gov - OPBAS, OPBAS Regulation 2018

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