The regulations, part of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, were originally expected to come into force in September 2003. But discussions between various governmental departments on the final details of the laws saw no agreement reached before parliament closed for its summer recess. It was thought details would be finalised before parliament’s recall, but there is still no sign of the regulations being approved with a month gone since MPs returned to the House of Commons.
After the regulations are approved, there will be a three-month delay until they come into force, so it is likely to be next March before accountants are forced to comply with the legislation. ‘We are still in discussions with other departments over the regulations and there are issues that haven’t yet been resolved,’ said a Treasury spokesman.
The money laundering regulations will require accountants to file suspicious activity reports on their clients if they suspect that money laundering is occurring, no matter how small the amount involved.
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