Bribery, fraud and anti-money laundering | UK Regulatory Outlook June 2023
Published on 28th Jun 2023
Businesses subject to greater scrutiny under new Home Office plans | Lords committee fraud report: in focus | HRMC updates AML guidance for trust or company service providers
Businesses subject to greater scrutiny under new Home Office plans
On 15 June 2023, the UK government announced that proposals have been submitted to modernise the identification doctrine, under which corporations can be held criminally liable for offences committed by its "directing mind and will".
The reform will be added to the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill, and will bring senior managers into scope of who can be considered the directing mind and will of a business.
Lisa Osofsky, director of the Serious Fraud Office, said: "We welcome the range of measures introduced by this bill – including the expansion of our pre-investigation powers and the ‘failure to prevent fraud’ offence – which, together with a review of the disclosure regime, would strengthen our ability to hold corporate criminals to account."
On 20 June, the government released a factsheet on the proposed identification principle amendments.
Lords committee fraud report: in focus
The paper summarises the committee's findings and the government's response, which helped to shape the government's fraud strategy which was published on 3 May 2023, and sets a target of reducing fraud by 10% from 2019 levels by the end of the current Parliament.
HRMC updates AML guidance for trust or company service providers
HM Revenue & Customs has published updated guidance for trust or company service providers on preventing money laundering and terrorist financing.
The guidance will help trust or company service providers meet their requirements for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism supervision, including customer due diligence, record keeping and reporting suspicious activity.
Companies House publishes guidance on register of overseas entities
On 21 June 2023, Companies House published "Guidance: Register of Overseas Entities: approach to enforcement".
The guidance explains how Companies House will use its enforcement powers in relation to the Register of Overseas Entities, where information, support and guidance do not result in compliance. It also sets out the types and range of sanctions that may be imposed for non-compliance, which includes:
- Restrictions – entities that fail to register with Companies House will face restrictions on selling, leasing or raising charges over their land.
- Prosecution – cases may be referred to law enforcement agencies to be considered for prosecution.
- Civil financial penalties – the financial penalty amount will be assessed based on culpability and harm involved in each case.
PSR policy statement on mandatory reimbursement requirement for APP fraud
European Commission amends list of high-risk third countries under MLD4