New Anti-Money Laundering Guidance for solicitors has been published by the Law Society of Scotland.
The draft guidance, which reflects the requirements in the Money Laundering Regulations 2017, has been approved by the Legal Sector Affinity Group (LSAG) which consists of UK legal sector supervisors and professional bodies, including the Society.
It has been sent to HM Treasury for review and final approval by the UK Government’s Money Laundering Advisory Committee. This may take until December 2017, and the Society is encouraging all money laundering reporting officers to renew their practice unit policies, controls and procedures to ensure they are compliant with the requirements of the new regulations.
The draft guidance has been devised to meet needs of all UK legal professionals who are involved in anti-money laundering compliance. It provides information on how to ensure their AML procedures are effective and on the signs to look for which could put firms at risk. It also offers information on primary money laundering and terrorism offences; legal professional privilege, making disclosures under the SARS regime, and enforcement measures.
Ian Messer, director of financial compliance at the Society, commented: “The new guidance takes account of the money laundering regulations that came into force in June this year. In addition to setting out solicitors’ AML obligations, the draft guidance provides a range of helpful, practical examples to ensure our members know how to apply the new regulations and remain compliant.”