A spokeswoman for the NCIS said that, while it was expecting an increase in reports submitted by accountants following the introduction of the new rules, ‘it is continuing to cope’. She said that NCIS was ‘very well resourced’ after increasing its financial intelligence staff last year.
‘The money laundering regulations have only been in place for a month, so it is too early to say what the impact will be. We are expecting a rise though.’
The spokeswoman added that large numbers of firms had already submitted reports before the new rules came out, although some firms were only coming to terms with the changes now. In 2003 the NCIS received 94,000 suspicious activity reports, up significantly from 56,000 in 2002.
After sifting, the NCIS will pass on the most serious reports to the Inland Revenue, where resources are already beefed up to deal with the influx. A spokesman for the Revenue said it was ‘gearing up to receive the disclosures that the new legislation will bring’.
‘We expect it will be a very valuable source of intelligence to uncover tax evasion,’ he added.
Intelligence passed on from NCIS will be fed into two specialist offices at the Revenue, to support the Special Compliance Office and to support network offices.
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