Regulatory Outlook

Bribery, fraud and anti-money laundering | UK Regulatory Outlook March 2023

Published on 28th Mar 2023

Updated guidance on SARs Economic | Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill | Government response to House of Lords Fraud Committee report

Updated guidance on SARs

The UK Financial Intelligence Unit (UKFIU), which is part of the National Crime Agency, has produced an updated Reporters Booklet, which contains a summary of feedback from law enforcement agencies on their use of suspicious activity reports (SARs).

These booklets are aimed at sharing and encouraging best practice among reporters, which include financial institutions, professionals such as solicitors, accountants and estate agents, or private individuals, where they have a suspicion or knowledge of money laundering or terrorist financing.

Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill 2022, which aims to help in identifying and preventing economic crime and reform the role of Companies House, is progressing through the House of Lords

The bill is currently at the Committee stage, which is scheduled to take place on 27 March 2023. The bill's amendments currently include the introduction of a "failure to prevent" fraud, false accounting or money laundering offence. See our Insight for further information on the bill.

Government response to House of Lords Fraud Committee report

The House of Lords has published the government's response to the House of Lords Fraud Act 2006 and Digital  Fraud Committee report "Fighting Fraud: Breaking the Chain", which was published in November 2022.

The government response addresses each of the committee's 65 recommendations, and in relation to tackling fraud, the government has reiterated its commitment to addressing the new for a new failure to prevent offence through the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill (about which, see above).

Economic Crime Levy to be collected from July 2023

A reminder that the government introduced an economic crime levy on anti-money laundering regulated businesses including credit institutions, independent legal professionals and estate agents, to fund the fight against economic crime.

The levy, which will be determined according to the businesses' UK revenue, will be paid annually to one of the following collection entities, HM Revenue and Customs, the Financial Conduct Authority, or the Gambling Commission. To ensure firms are charged the right amount, impacted firms must submit their data via a new Reg Data Report (FIN074) from 1 April. Failure to submit in time may result in a £250 administrative fee.

Are you prepared for the UK Economic Crime Levy?

HM Treasury published draft regulations, together with an explanatory memorandum, on 28 February that will revise and make further provision for the assessment, payment, collection, and enforcement of the Economic Crime Levy (ECL).

The aim of the levy, which will be paid by the anti-money laundering (AML) regulated sector, is to raise £100m a year to help fund "new and uplifted" anti-money laundering and economic crime-tackling capabilities in line with the government's objectives under its 2019 Economic Crime Plan.

Our Insight considers which entities will be required to pay the ECL and the steps they will need to take to comply with the ECL process, based on the latest guidance from HMRC and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).


* This article is current as of the date of its publication and does not necessarily reflect the present state of the law or relevant regulation.

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