The UK Government has launched a consultation on how a new anti-money laundering supervisory body should operate and be funded.

Hosted by the Financial Conduct Authority, the UK Government has created a new Office for Professional Body AML Supervision (OPBAS) to improve co-ordination and consistency across the 22 professional body AML supervisors currently operating in the UK.

The UK Government has recognised that professional body AML supervisors “bring substantial benefits to the UK AML regime, as they are closest to the innovations and emerging risks in their sector”. OPBAS has been created to help ensure high standards across this landscape, whilst imposing the minimum possible burden on legitimate business.

OPBAS will work with all professional body AML supervisors, including the Law Society of Scotland, to help ensure overall standards of supervision are maintained and that supervisors comply with their obligations in the Money Laundering Regulations, in addition to providing a platform on which supervisors and law enforcement can work together more effectively.

HM Treasury issued its consultation on the operation and funding of OPBAS on 20 July 2017. The consultation contains eight questions in total. Four of these call for information from law firms in Scotland relating to the time and cost currently associated with AML compliance, and ask whether firms anticipate those costs increasing.

The Society has urged its member firms to participate in the consultation, and to provide their responses direct to HM Treasury at aml@hmtreasury.gsi.gov.uk  prior to 17 August 2017. To assist in the Society's ongoing dialogue with HM Treasury, please copy responses to the Society at fincomp@lawscot.org.uk.

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Anti-money laundering

The fight against money laundering and counter terrorist financing - the role of the legal profession.