PracticeAccounting FirmsFirms urged to appoint money laundering officer

Firms urged to appoint money laundering officer

The ICAEW has urged practices to appoint a Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) without delay, before failure to do so becomes a criminal offence next year.

Link: Money laundering rules see fresh changes

David Illingworth, president of the ICAEW, wrote to all its members in the UK to explain how the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and November’s Money Laundering Regulations will effect them.

The letter said: ‘As many of these responsibilities fall on individual accountants and other staff providing accounting services, we wanted to take this opportunity to write to all members – to draw attention to their responsibilities.’

From 1 March, it will be a criminal offence for any firm other than a sole practitioner without staff to fail to appoint a MLRO.

Other new offences will include failing to maintain identification procedures for new clients or records of transactions with them. Firms will also have to put in place procedures for staff to report suspicions and provide training to help them understand the new regulations and spot money laundering.

The letter also said ICAEW’s lobbying of the government to minimise unnecessary burdens on professional firms had borne fruit, with the production of ‘early drafts of a substantially simplified standard report for less important matters’.

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