Anti-money laundering (AML) & financial crime – background information and resources

Another extremely useful resource is the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Report: Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing Vulnerabilities of legal professionals AML Topics and Issues.

  • The Financial Action Task Force (on Money Laundering) (FATF) is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.
  • The FATF's primary policies issued are the Forty Recommendations on money laundering from 1990 and the 9 Special Recommendations (SR) on Terrorism Financing (TF)
  • Together, the Forty Recommendation and Special Recommendations on Terrorism Financing set the international standard for anti-money laundering measures and combating the financing of terrorism and terrorist acts. They set out the principles for action and allow countries a measure of flexibility in implementing these principles according to their particular circumstances and constitutional frameworks.
  • Both sets of FATF Recommendations are implemented at the national level through legislation and other legally binding measures
  • It monitors countries' progress in implementing the FATF Recommendations by ‘peer reviews’ (‘mutual evaluations’) of member countries).

This report provides extensive examples of “red flags” cases of how money laundering & terrorist financing risks have impacted on legal professionals worldwide and how these risks can be managed. 

Read the FATF report

National risk assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing

  • The UK Government has completed the UKs first money laundering and terrorist financing national risk assessment which aims to identify, understand and assess the money laundering and terrorist financing risks facing the UK.
  • Legal services in the UK are considered from paragraph 6.64 to 6.97.  The principal money laundering and terrorist financing risks facing the legal sector are noted at paragraph 6.96.

“A Lawyers Guide to Detecting & Preventing Money Laundering”.

A new guide aiming to provide lawyers across the world with practical guidance in detecting and preventing money laundering has been produced by the International Bar Association (IBA) in conjunction with the American Bar Association (ABA) and the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE).  

Read the guide

Money laundering subscription email service

HM Treasury's Financial Crime Team provides a money laundering subscription email service that will be of interest to all firms of solicitors. The purpose of the service is to allow the Treasury to communicate directly with subscribers when there are important anti-money laundering developments.

Regulators such as the Law Society of Scotland have been asked to highlight this service to our member firms. View instructions for subscribing to this service.

Our AML Contacts

  • For confidential telephone-based guidance on operational AML/financial crime-related queries occurring in the course of your day-to-day business as a solicitor, please call the Society’s Professional Practice team on Tel: 0131 226 8896
  • For in-depth guidance regarding strategic AML/financial crime issues (for example FATF/HMT/NCA-related queries, AML trends, sanctions-related advice) or guidance relating to AML policies, procedures, systems or training, please call Graham MacKenzie, AML Auditor on Tel: 0131 476 8176