New AML rules lead to mandatory information request
New anti-money-laundering regulations introduced by the Government mean that the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) requires comprehensive information from law firms about people working in certain roles.
The new regulations place new duties and tasks on both solicitors and the SRA as a “supervisor”. Firms offering services that fall within scope of the regulations are required to provide more information to the regulator.
Those offering such services must apply to the SRA for approval of all officers, managers and beneficial owners as defined in the regulations. And if they offer trust or company services, they must be included in the register which will be held by HM Revenue and Customs.
The information is being collected through an online form that was sent out today (Monday 22 January). The form must be completed by close of play on Friday 2 February, 2018.
Firms that do not carry out activities that fall under the regulations also have to make a declaration through the online form.
Paul Philip, SRA Chief Executive, said: “Keeping the profession free of money laundering is in everyone’s interest. It means that the legal sector can play its part in disrupting serious crime, which funds everything from terrorism to people trafficking.
“The Government has brought in new legislation to protect us all. We know the vast majority of solicitors want to do the right thing, but no one can afford to be complacent. We are asking firms to complete and submit the form they have been sent as soon as possible.”
Before Christmas the SRA sent all firms details about the information they would need to submit, so that firms could prepare for this exercise. The SRA has also published supporting information on its website.