Terrorism fight should respect confidentiality

The ACCA has warned advisers not to compromise the importance of client
confidentiality after chancellor Gordon Brown said accountants were the key
professionals in the fight against terrorism financing and money laundering.

In his speech on terrorism, Brown said accountants played a crucial role
supporting the police and security services and identifying threats and

John Davies, head off business law at the ACCA, said it was inevitable that
crime-fighters would call on professionals with financial expertise, but warned
that accountants should not allow themselves to ‘become simply conduits of
information to the government’.

He said it was in the public interest for the profession to protect the
private relationship between client and adviser.

‘The special nature of the relationship between professional adviser and
client still needs to be protected as being in the public interest, and any
further obligations to report information to the government needs to incorporate
due sensitivity,’ said Davies.

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