Save content
Have you found this content useful? Use the button above to save it to your profile.
Path leading to different opinions AccountingWEB Is there anything positive to say about AML compliance?
istock_pathleadstodifferentopinions_http://www.fotogestoeber.de

Is there anything positive about AML compliance?

by

Anti-money laundering compliance is seen as burdensome and so is often neglected. However, David Winch encourages the AccountingWEB community to recognise its potential for providing valuable insights to practitioners.

19th Feb 2024
Save content
Have you found this content useful? Use the button above to save it to your profile.

David Winch, director of MLRO Support Limited and an upcoming speaker at the Festival of Accounting & Bookkeeping (FAB), took to Any Answers to ask the community whether they had anything positive to say about anti-money laundering (AML) compliance

He wrote, “I know everyone loves to hate AML compliance but I would be interested to hear your views on ways in which the burdens of complying with AML obligations have yielded useful information or insights for you. Or is there really nothing positive to say?”

This question comes ahead of the “State of the Nation: AML in 2024” session at FAB where Winch will be joined by Mark Evans, technical consultant at Mercia, and Rebecca Williams, director of Eccounting Made Easy, to talk about all things AML. 

Winch explained that following AML requirements can make practitioners think about their firm and what it stands for, which can lead to some helpful insights. “I hope that know-your-client (KYC) information can be useful in helping to identify additional (chargeable) services the firm can provide to its clients.”

With some accountants spending “their time in the business and none on the business”, Winch said that they are then, “unable to articulate the nature of their firm and what it uniquely offers to existing and prospective clients”. 

Register for free to continue reading

It’s 100% free and provides unlimited access to the latest accounting news, advice and insight every day. As well as access to this exclusive article, you can:


Content lock down, tick icon

View all AccountingWEB content


Content lock down, tick icon

Comment on articles


Content lock down, tick icon

Watch our digital shows and more

Access content now

Already have an account?

Replies (60)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

Replying to RayM55:
avatar
By BryanS1958
22nd Feb 2024 10:27

In my experience, those in the upper echelons of professional bodies seem to have no concept of the realities of being a small practitioner, or of running a small business. Ray's comments reinforce this opinion.

Both AML and the likes of MTD are a complete waste of time and resources, yet the professional bodies do nothing to fight against them being introduced. They just tinker around the edges and rarely achieve anything worthwhile.

Thanks (2)
Replying to raybackler:
avatar
By GHarr497688
21st Feb 2024 13:18

It could be anyone that commits the crime.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Marlinman
21st Feb 2024 06:22

Another no from me. Professional criminals are aware of these regulations and avoid banks and businesses subject to them. They live outside the law and pay for things in cash.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Mentinor
21st Feb 2024 16:23

There are no advantages at all to AML at all , except for the government who are completely impotent and can just shirk off their reponsibilities in this area to businesses, who bear the cost

any professionally qualified accountant does due dilligence automatically as a knee jerk reaction, the same with nonsense recording of ICAEW CPD ( Im sure they've spent huge amounts of members monies on this nonsense), if I recorded everything I thought , my non chargeable time would make my business unprofitable

the answer is compulsory education for all accountants at the very start of their careers by whatever means necessary , it worked for me , I have that basic knowledge in tax, law , accounting and i have to keep up to date , which is easy .. i just dont need to waste time recording it as if i'm some quasi civil servant, my pi record demonstrates i am very low risk

Thanks (1)
avatar
By tedbuck
28th Feb 2024 13:17

I have been in this profession for many years and nothing I have seen so far compares to AML for ridiculous bureaucracy gone utterly mad. What a waste of time and mostly for no good reason. Surely accountants are sensible enough to do this stuff without the might of the Civil Service bureaucrats rubbing their hands in delight at the power they have awarded themselves. And the real money launderers just carry on as normal because the rules are so pathetic that the criminals just sidestep them.
HMRC haven't a brain in their management department and the Police these days don't seem to want to know if there is crime involved and so on and so on - so what on earth is the point. They cannot stop riots in case they offend someone so the whole thing is going to hell in a bucket. Give it a year or so and we can all pack up and go home as there won't be an economy to manage.
End of rant - sorry but wait and see.........

Thanks (2)
Replying to tedbuck:
avatar
By johnjenkins
28th Feb 2024 13:42

I so agree. There won't be a one man band business anymore and prices will hit the roof. Maybe that's what the rich want - full control.

Thanks (0)
Replying to tedbuck:
avatar
By Rob Swan
28th Feb 2024 15:40

Yup ;)

Thanks (0)
avatar
By BryanS1958
29th Feb 2024 14:52

This reinforces my NO answer:

ICAEW Daily Insights (just to prove I do CPD!):

"UK fraud leaps to £2.3bn - Reported cases of fraud are rising and the amounts involved are getting larger – but still fewer than one in seven fraud offences are reported to the police."

No comment on what percentage of reported offences were successfully prosecuted by police.

Seems to me that AML is a waste of time, particularly given the amount of resources wasted, that could be better utilised elsewhere, and cost of those resources.

Thanks (1)
Replying to BryanS1958:
avatar
By Rob Swan
29th Feb 2024 16:14

Gov't never going to admit it doesn't work - there's an election coming and it was THEIR idea. Full marks for CPD BTW ;)

Thanks (0)
avatar
By BryanS1958
17th Apr 2024 17:32

Interesting article on IFC Review - basically confirming that AML regulations have minimal impact on criminal activities, and cost everyone way too much to implement. We've been sold a pup!!:

"“The current framework, particularly the anti‐​money laundering (AML) rules, is clearly not cost‐​effective. As demonstrated below, the AML regime costs an estimated $4.8 billion to $8 billion annually. Yet, this AML system results in fewer than 700 convictions annually, a proportion of which are simply additional counts against persons charged with other predicate crimes. Thus, each conviction costs approximately $7 million, potentially much more.”[iv]

The AML laws sold to the public as a way to end crime and terrorism don’t work. The AML laws have not reduced crime one iota. Drug gangs have gotten bigger and more powerful since 1990 and have morphed into multinational criminal organisations. In 1991, there were 15,719 deaths due to terrorism. In 2021, it was 19,546.[v] According to the UN, if global GDP has held constant at 1.5 per cent of GDP over 30-plus years, crime has also increased. Police have been turned into privateers and turned against those they swore to protect.

Lastly, AML implementation has been a net negative for governments. Not only are governments taking in less revenue because of decreased corporate profits, but investors are also making less, and the governments are paying an army of clerks to force compliance to something that ultimately harms the government. Who pays for the cost of AML compliance? We all pay more in the form of higher banking fees, transaction costs, and lower yields on our investments.

The AML laws need to be drastically reformed or repealed and recrafted. The OECD/FATF know nothing of commercial or financial flows; they know little of crime, but they do know tax. The world has been sold a bill of goods. AML laws are about tax collecting, period, and full stop — they have zero impact on crime or terror financing.

“…The Wall Street Journal reported on October 10, 2023, that cryptocurrency wallets connected to Hamas received about $41 million between 2020 and 2023, and that wallets connected to another US-designated terrorist organisation, the Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ), received as much as $93 million over a similar period.”[vi]

When crafting laws, one must carefully consider the unintended consequences of the rules. One has to ask of the law being considered: How will this law do damage? What will be prevented or encouraged as a result of a law? If we are doing battle with an enemy, how do we avoid damaging ourselves? There are no absolutes. To be an absolute, it has to be something that does not depend on something else. While confidence is required, overconfidence can be fatal, like taking a sip from a bottle labeled scotch, which turns out to be rat poison.

AML has become a dangerous farce of efficacy and security that only Mrs Umbridge could appreciate."

Thanks (0)

Pages