20 Jul 2018
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is currently investigating around 75 firms and individuals for anti-money laundering (AML) issues, using both its criminal and civil powers, it said.
The watchdog indicated that its ‘increase in the number of investigations’ was linked to its new approach of opening investigations earlier and more quickly in cases where it suspects serious misconduct.
It outlined its enforcement action and approach towards AML in its Anti-Money Laundering Report 2017/18, which was published on Thursday alongside its Annual Report and Accounts 2017/18.
It also said that it is working closely with the National Crime Agency in response to reporting about the ‘Russian Laundromat’ and has sought additional information from a number of firms.
“The size and global nature of the UK financial industry mean that both money laundering, and the criminality that requires money to be laundered, present significant risks to the UK and undermine the integrity of the UK financial system,” the regulator stated.
“Our aim is to make the UK financial markets hostile for criminals. We also want to ensure the UK’s financial system is resilient against their activities and a safer place for customers.”
Regarding its reactive work, it said its specialists have considered nearly 150 referrals and taken action on over 70 cases.
It has achieved this by using intelligence from a variety of sources, including whistleblowers and law enforcement partners.
It has also used information identified through its own supervisory work, and self-reporting by firms.
Regarding enforcement, it stated: “We are currently investigating around 75 firms and individuals for AML issues. Many of these investigations are using both our civil and criminal powers under the Financial Services & Markets Act and the MLRs 2017.”
– By Irene Madongo
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