Two UK Agencies Outline Plans to Fight Financial Crime in 2020
18 Apr 2019

The UK in the coming year will seek to extend a senior management accountability program to new firms, toughen its oversight of professional bodies and reform how it processes suspicious activity reports, two agencies disclosed.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said in a 2019/2020 business plan published Wednesday that its Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS) would ratchet up pressure on associations and other organizations that don’t adequately police their members for failing to implement checks on financial crimes.

In March, OPBAS disclosed that nearly a quarter of the professionals organizations it oversees had failed to supervise their members for anti-money laundering (AML) compliance. Roughly 80 percent of the associations had poor governance arrangements on how to escalate AML deficiencies, including policies on holding senior managers accountable.

The FCA will separately extend its Senior Managers and Certification Regime to all entities in December, according to the plan. The regime, which already applies to banks, attempts to hold executives, including senior compliance officers, accountable for institutional violations of financial regulations.

On Tuesday, the National Crime Agency (NCA) published a 2019/2020 business plan under which it would “maximise new powers, for example Unexplained Wealth Orders and Account Freezing Orders, across all agencies to tack illicit finance.”

The NCA will also prioritize an ongoing overhaul of its technical capabilities to process and analyze suspicious activity reports filed by British banks and other firms, according to the plan.

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