Treasury updates money laundering regs

David Winch highlights the key issues for accountants in the updated money laundering regulations issued by the Treasury last month.

The updates to the Money Laundering Regulations Money Laundering Regulations (MLR) 2007 include a shift in responsibility for enforcement to professional supervisory bodies, new financial sanctions and changes to registration procedures for money transmitters. 

MLR 2007 is now known as Money Laundering (Amendment) Regulations 2012 and came into effect in October.

Winch, who leads AccountingWEB's money laundering and crime discussion group, offered the following commentary after highlighting the main changes in a digest on his Accounting Evidence website.

  • Estate agents
  • Reliance - accountants and lawyers 
  • Supervisory bodies
  • The future of MLR

Continued...

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Comments

Reliance

RogerMT | | Permalink

So, if I take on a client previously represented by a member of say, IFA, then I can ask the previous accountant for a copy of their MLR checks on the client, and I don't have to do my own? If so, it sounds like a good idea.

I'm not sure it necessarily

Johnday72 | | Permalink

I'm not sure it necessarily is a good idea as theoretically one could be replying on one MLR identity check being passed from adviser to adviser over a number of years involving too many links in the chain. It may be that the easiest solution in practice is to still confirm ID for a new client personally at the outset?

Does this achieve anything?    7 thanks

Ian McTernan CTA | | Permalink

All this time and money spent filling in forms, processing them, and yet another annual fee to pay for the privilege of being able to act for clients- does it actually prevent any money laundering at all?

Yet another charge to pay to act as unpaid police officers.

How many people on here have direct experience of a positive result for HMRC or a successful prosecution based on their report under the MRL- not 'I heard Joe Blogs submitted a report and Bob was arrrested' but your own?

Hilarious that it applies to sellers of property but not to purchasers or lettings agents..so money launderers can quite happily purchase properties and rent them out and MLR will have no impact.  now that's what I call 'real joined up thinking designed by committees to ensure no one can be blamed for anything' whilst missing the target entirely.

As for being able to use someone else's MLR checks 'reliance' .. no thanks.  Dodgy IFA firm contacts you, provides all the 'MLR' reliance you need, you rely on it, and hey presto money laundering achieved.

Reliance    2 thanks

Welling | | Permalink

My reading of the reliance provision is that where a client has more than one advisor (i.e. a solicitor and an accountant) then one advisor will be able to rely on the MLR checks of the other.  I don't think it would apply where a client moves from one advisor to another.

carnmores's picture

@Ian    5 thanks

carnmores | | Permalink

Spot on. Its a complete waste of time

Unpaid police    4 thanks

RogerMT | | Permalink

I'm not implying an IFA firm would be "dodgy" anymore than an ACCA firm would be - I'm sure there's bad apples in every basket!

You're certainly right about us all being unpaid police though. Imo MLR is just another unwanted hoop to jump through before one can actually get down to earning a living. A total waste of time and effort and simply a cash generator for credit agencies and professional bodies. At least this new act might mean our professional bodies actually have to do some work to justify their annual MLR fee.

As we all know the real crooks get away with it (legitimately I might add) on a daily basis, sez me, typing on my Amazon bought keyboard, having got here via a Google search while drinking a Starbucks coffee...:)

Reliance    3 thanks

Johnday72 | | Permalink

...........I remain to be convinced that in acting concurrently for a client who has multiple professional advisers (eg solicitor, estate agent, IFA, banker etc) that I can rely on ID assurances from one of them rather than simply satisfying myself direct.

johnjenkins's picture

What is really funny    3 thanks

johnjenkins | | Permalink

is that unqualifieds are supposed to be registered with HMRC (albeit customs & excise) and they haven't got a clue who should be registered. Also there is no follow up or proceedure to find out who isn't registered. So again target missed. Don't tell me, let me guess. mmmmm yes we are going to have to pay for these services.

Fit and proper, now there is a laugh.

MLR    1 thanks

kenatnam | | Permalink

As ever, all the little people, everyone in the street have to suffer MLR on a daily basis as they go about their legitimate business so that the form filling mandarins can pat themselves on the back and feel smug that they are catching moneylaunders en masse. Except that they are not, as the smug responses from Amazon, Google & Starbucks proved on TV this week.

Far better to spend all that money on a fraud squad with real teeth who can go after the big guys

 

I'm pleased I'll be retiring soon and leaving all this red tape behind - except that I'll still face MLR at the bank when heaven forbid I try to pay some cash into my daughters account for her birthday!

Nick Graves's picture

Don't forget    2 thanks

Nick Graves | | Permalink

...it does provide a lot of jobs for zombies (especially well-paid zombies to come up with this nonsense) and the overlords believe it's not at the taxpayers' expense.

It is indirectly at everyone's expense, but they ignore the economic damage of value-subtracted jobs.

 

@john....    1 thanks

justsotax | | Permalink

not sure it really matters if its qualifieds or not.....if you don't register how will you be identified.  The Revenue cannot possibly know what they don't know, do they know who is qualified and who is not, and of the qualifieds do they know they have registered with their own body rather than HMRC (well i guess the question is do they check...if they know).....

Guarantee    1 thanks

The Black Knight | | Permalink

Ian McTernan CTA wrote:

All this time and money spent filling in forms, processing them, and yet another annual fee to pay for the privilege of being able to act for clients- does it actually prevent any money laundering at all?

Yet another charge to pay to act as unpaid police officers.

How many people on here have direct experience of a positive result for HMRC or a successful prosecution based on their report under the MRL- not 'I heard Joe Blogs submitted a report and Bob was arrrested' but your own?

Hilarious that it applies to sellers of property but not to purchasers or lettings agents..so money launderers can quite happily purchase properties and rent them out and MLR will have no impact.  now that's what I call 'real joined up thinking designed by committees to ensure no one can be blamed for anything' whilst missing the target entirely.

As for being able to use someone else's MLR checks 'reliance' .. no thanks.  Dodgy IFA firm contacts you, provides all the 'MLR' reliance you need, you rely on it, and hey presto money laundering achieved.

I think a report may even be a guarantee that nothing will be done.

Be interested if you added up the potential unpaid tax and penalties on money laundering reports whether this would fix the deficit? Freedom of information request?

This is just political change for the sake of it. It's what they are paid to do.

So instead of asking the client for his photo driving licence, we ask the solicitor to confirm he has seen it and could we have a certified copy (for free?)

and what if our risk assessment is different to the solicitor?

Honestly these people do not have a clue and are not living in the real world, but I guess we knew that from the state this country is in.

There are plenty of holes in the system that are obviously put there to let certain people through, or it's just incompetence beyond belief.

Companies House have no procedures to check whether Directors and shareholders are real or not, don't care either when they know, yet we can rely on that information for a check.

Absolute shambles as usual    1 thanks

BryanS1958 | | Permalink

Can the current government, indeed any government, do anything right?  We might as well de-centralise everything and pay everything with bit coins, give us a rest from interfering politicians, money grabbing bankers, money printing central banks and pathetic incompetent regulators

Nick Graves's picture

The law of unintended consequences means they only make it worse    1 thanks

Nick Graves | | Permalink

BryanS1958 wrote:

Can the current government, indeed any government, do anything right?  We might as well de-centralise everything and pay everything with bit coins, give us a rest from interfering politicians, money grabbing bankers, money printing central banks and pathetic incompetent regulators

Once the vested interests have driven us into an economic crash, that is probably what will happen.

The interferors can then go off & get productive jobs in the real economy; a bit of gardening/tidying-up maybe. Or a useful service something like that, which people will be happy to pay for voluntarilty.

Mind you, the interferors would have more money if they weren't paying all that interest on fiat money to their cohorts the banksters; genuine competition instead of a monopoly there would improve things no end...

 

 

 

memyself-eye's picture

I think it's great....    3 thanks

memyself-eye | | Permalink

I also think Jimmy Savile is innocent and that all BBC executives deserve double salary payoffs.

Soon, I think, my premium bonds (both of them) will come up trumps and I can wave bye bye to all this

Soon.

I think it's great ........    1 thanks

Dave Watkinson | | Permalink

How silly to hold premium bonds.  That is just putting money interest free into the hands of the polits.

Much better to buy lottery tickets.  Then at least you are helping fund the health service without having to drive to a hospital and leave your car in a car park for 20 minutes.