The AML Certificate is a crucial tool in our statutory obligation to deploy a risk-based approach to our AML Supervision.

The AML Certificate, which is a questionnaire about your products and services, your clients and the way in which you deliver your services, is compulsory for those firms which fall within the scope of the AML Regulations. The certificate is designed to capture AML information on an annual basis for the period of 1 November to 31 October.

A downloadable copy is available at the bottom of the AML Certificate page within the AML section of the members' area (log in required).

Please see our frequently asked questions below which should answer many of the questions you might have about the certificate and further information can also be found within the AML section of the member sign in area. We recommend reading these before completing your AML Certificate.

The deadline for completion of the AML Certificate is 21 December.

Yes, as an appendix to your Accounts Certificate, completion of the AML Certificate is compulsory. The usual process for non-compliance regarding the Accounts Certificate will be followed, which may result in referral of a complaint to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission.   

If your firm does not offer any of the services listed below, it may be that you do not need to complete this form. You will of course need to satisfy yourself on the legal position.

Any firm which is exempt from reporting under the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 has a certificate of exemption. If you do not yet have this but believe you are exempt, you should contact us immediately at amlregistrations@lawscot.org.uk

The service provision bringing firms within scope are -

  • The buying and selling of real property or business entities
  • The managing of client money, securities or other assets
  • The opening or management of bank, savings and securities accounts
  • The organisation of contributions necessary for the creation, operation or management of companies
  • The creation, operation or management of trusts, companies, foundations or similar structures
  • Forming companies or other legal persons
  • Acting or arranging for another person to act;
    • as a director or secretary of a company
    • as a partner of a partnership; or
    • in a similar capacity in relation to other legal persons
  • Providing a registered office, business address, correspondence or administrative address or other related services for a company, partnership or any other legal person or legal agreement
  • Acting or arranging for another person to act, as;
    • a trustee of an express trust or similar legal arrangement; or
    • a nominee shareholder for a person other than a company whose securities are listed on a regulated market

The MLRO should sign in to the Members Area of our website using their own credentials, then select AML from the menu on the left hand side. They should then select the AML Certificate tab, read the notes and scroll down to begin completing the form. 

Please remember to use the Select Firm Box to confirm the Firm you are completing on behalf of.

Please also note the certificate is available to download and print to aid you in completion. You may also wish to save this for future submissions.

The deadline for submitting your AML Certificate is Friday, 21 December 2018.

The most likely explanation is that you have not completed all of the questions. All fields are mandatory. If your answer to any question is No/None or Not Applicable this must still be entered.

Please remember to also complete the Position within the Firm field on the first page and then Select Your Firm field on the first page.

Yes a downloadable copy is available from within the portal before starting the form. This is located at the bottom of the AML Certificate tab within the AML section of the members area.

The time taken to complete the Certificate will be dependent on a range of factors within your business, for example the information systems you use or staff knowledge. It is recommended you begin completing the Certificate as soon as possible. Please note, while it may take some time to complete it in the first year, you will then have a good base from which to complete the Certificate going forward.

While accuracy is of course necessary, we are not requesting exact and verifiable answers from your firm. Therefore, we do not foresee firms being unable to answer any of the questions.

To help you answer check the information 'pop up' boxes where they appear as an ‘I’ next to questions in the Certificate and read these FAQs in the first instance. Your most recent Lockton’s Master Policy application may help you in completing the Certificate. You can contact aml@lawscot.org.uk if you are still having difficulty providing an answer to a question.

The MLRO should log in to the portal using their individual details rather than firm login details. The MLRO must submit the form. A designated person may be set up to enter information into the portal but the MLRO remains responsible for the information entered and must submit the form.

The MLRO should email registrar@lawscot.org.uk  to name a designated person. They should provide full name, company, business address, phone number, email address and date of birth of the designated person. That person will then be assigned specific log-in details to allow them access to the form.

Yes, as part of the AML Certificate you must also supply a copy of your Firm Level Risk Assessment. This assessment is a statutory obligation within the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 (Reg. 18) and you should already have one in place. The AML Toolkit on our website has a template for a Firm Level Risk Assessment should you require one.

No, you should not complete the Certificate if your firm has its registered office in England or Wales.

The responses will be used to assign inherent AML risk profiles across our supervised population. An inherent AML risk profile is a consideration of your firm’s AML risk before any mitigating controls are put into place and is therefore not a reflection of, or judgment on, your policies, controls and procedures or your firm’s ability to mitigate risk. The results of any analysis will inform our risk-based approach to supervision.

The data is stored in our internal data management system along with all other information about firms that we hold. The data is also drawn down into a protected Excel dashboard platform to allow any risk analysis to take place. For more information on our Privacy Policy please visit our website.

We currently intend to store  data for up to five years for each AML Certificate return.

We do not intend to share your data outside of the regulatory functions of the Law Society of Scotland. However, where our regulator (OPBAS) carries out any audit of our files, they may have sight of the data as part of that audit function. Collated or anonymised data may be used to educate or inform governmental departments as well as our membership. At all times we remain bound by the reporting obligations contained in the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and other legislation.

New firms do not complete the AML Certificate. For 2018, new firms are directly being sent the New Firm AML Certificate - which is a reduced version of the full certificate. We are currently building the new firm process for 2019.

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