Legal

New money laundering watchdog to operate within the FCA

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29th December 2017
"OPBAS will help our supervisors tighten the UK’s defences against dirty money whilst minimising unnecessary burdens on legitimate business."

The government has created a new watchdog which will operate within the FCA to further tighten the UK’s defences against money laundering.

The Office for Professional Body AML Supervision (OPBAS) will work across the UK’s anti-money laundering supervisory regime, aiming to improve standards and ensure supervisors and law enforcement work together more effectively.

It will directly oversee the 22 accountancy and legal professional body AML supervisors in the UK, solving government worries that having several organisations supervising the same sectors risks inconsistencies that criminals could look to exploit.

OPBAS will reform the AML supervisory regime, a key part of the 2016 Action plan for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist finance.

The OPBAS regulations have been laid in Parliament and will take effect on 18 January.

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Barclay, said: "Our partnership with the private sector is at the heart of this reform, and OPBAS will help our supervisors tighten the UK’s defences against dirty money whilst minimising unnecessary burdens on legitimate business.

"This is the latest step in the government’s reforms to the UK’s financial system to make it a hostile environment for illicit finance."

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