The Criminal Finances Act passed into UK law on 27th April 2017. It aims to improve the UK’s ability to combat financial crimes – most notably money laundering, corruption, tax evasion and terrorist financing. The Act will do this by creating new powers to help law enforcement agencies and the private sector investigate and tackle these crimes.
The changes to the UK’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist finance regime can be summarised as follows:
Money laundering – Part 1, Chapter 2
The Criminal Finances Act will make amendments to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and brings in three new powers to improve the quality of money laundering investigations:
Terror finance – Part 2
What are the impacts of the Criminal Finances Act?
The Criminal Finances Act, which will most likely come into force in September, will strengthen the fight against financial crimes like money laundering and help improve the integrity of the UK financial system.
Closing loopholes regarding the seizing and forfeiture of terrorist cash in moveable property, banks and building society accounts will go far to squeeze the assets of designated individuals. The inclusion of gaming tokens and betting receipts in the definitions of terrorist cash will also be effective in closing down these as a value store for terrorist funds.
The improvements to information sharing will help regulated firms clear the fog around some money laundering and terrorist financing practises that use the formal financial sector. For compliance teams, this Act makes significant progress in setting up clear channels and processes to share information, safe in the knowledge that they are legally protected. This move to improve information sharing channels through legislation is a growing trend within global AML/CTF regime reform and could influence any upcoming reform to the USA’s Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).
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