The Law Society of Scotland is appealing to member solicitors to help it put the legal profession's case in relation to possible additional money laundering reporting obligations.
Solicitors are being asked to answer survey questions directed to assessing their business's level of exposure to the risk of being used to transfer funds or assets as part of money laundering or terrorist financing operations.
HM Treasury is requesting evidence submissions from the legal services sector against a comprehensive set of money-laundering and terrorist finance risk factors.
It wants to build a picture this month, in the wake of ministers' commitment to publish a second National Risk Assessment (NRA) of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, ahead of a Financial Action Task Force evaluation beginning in autumn 2017.
The Society intends to respond to the consultation, but says it needs members' help in order to influence Government thinking on the money-laundering risks held by the legal sector.
An email to solicitors from the Vice President, Graham Matthews, said the Society's response would be “set against the possible misconceptions held by those outwith the industry”. He added: “Our response could also help shape the AML policy and law which pose increasingly high expectations and responsibilities on the UK legal sector – both at supervisory and private firm level.”
The UK Government is planning to hold round tables with the legal sector during April and May 2017 with a view to filling any evidence gaps, before presenting conclusions to the sector in June and July. The updated NRA will be published in the autumn.
Click here to find the survey questions. The Society is asking solicitors for as full responses as possible by noon on Wednesday 19 April 2017.