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UK anti-money laundering protection tightens, but more automation needed

The recent publication of the Financial Conduct Authority 2018/19 Business Plan showed the need to commit to focusing on the new priorities, particularly on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU which is a top priority, over and above any cross-sector or sector priorities. However, the need to tighten the AML procedures and systems continues.

Encompass believe that, “it is clear that the FCA is taking real action across the board when it comes to tackling money laundering” and continuing to focus on capital markets.

FCA programme for tackling money laundering

The FCA’s permanent programme of work includes:

  • Regular inspections of the largest firms, as well as other firms that we believe present high money laundering risk
  • Supervision and authorisation frameworks enable them to identify and reduce the potential for firms to be used for money laundering and other financial crime
  • A range of supervision and regulatory enforcement tools:
    • authorisation interviews, proactive and reactive supervisory work, consumer alerts
    • FCA-led or jointly-run education programmes
    • enforcement tools such as business restrictions and regulatory and criminal investigations.

The FCA published the UK National Risk Assessment of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing identified that the UK needs a more comprehensive picture of how capital markets are being used for money laundering. 

Platforms to identify UBOs

In AML programmes, a key problem is the lack of transparency of Ultimate Business Owners and it continues to be a crucial issue. 

Automating the manual processes for UBO discovery provides firms with the information they need to make informed decisions fast. Employing platforms, such as the encompass platform, which uses intelligent process automation to simultaneously access multiple data sources and to use the information retrieved to dynamically build out corporate structures, with the goal of making due diligence more efficient by speeding up the information gathering process and presenting data in a way that’s easy to understand and manage.

Henry Balani, Head of Solutions Consulting, Encompass Corporation, commented that “Professional services firms have weak Anti-Money Laundering compliance procedures.  Accounting firms, especially, must prepare for increased regulatory oversight and will require robust Know Your Customer (KYC) solutions in place moving forward if they are to meet their obligations.”

CTMfile take: If you are not using a platform for AML, why not? Such platforms are vital for both KYC and anti-money laundering.

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