FSA steps up money laundering efforts

In a report entitled ‘The Money Laundering Theme: Tackling our new responsibilities’, the financial watchdog said it would focus its efforts on international banking and high-risk jurisdictions, domestic banking, independent financial advisers and offshore funds, online stockbroking, spread betting and credit unions.

This includes a ‘partnership agreement’ signed with the National Criminal Intelligence Service on Monday to fight money laundering, and with other UK and international authorities to reduce financial crime

The FSA is set to take on its full regulatory and disciplinary powers on the 1 December when the Financial Services and Markets Act comes into force, including the ability to prosecute companies that breach regulations and to make new rules where necessary.

Carol Sergeant, managing director of the FSA, said the regulator aimed to work with the industry to help those firms that are behind the game step up a class in terms of preventing the risk of money laundering crystallising.

‘Firms need to be aware though that money laundering failures may result in formal regulatory enforcement or criminal prosecution,’ she said.

Last month, the Financial Action Task Force included 12 financial centres and countries on its annual money laundering ‘blacklist’ who now face the risk of a loss of lucrative trade agreements with G7 countries.

And 35 tax havens currently appear on an OECD blacklist, for failing to co-operate over harmful tax practices and face the threat of economic sanctions and having favourable tax treaties scrapped if they do not change their position.


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FSA: The Money Laundering Theme

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