11 Mar 2015

Kim Potts’ comments re the FCA’s financial crime guidance published in Payments Compliance

UK Facing Tougher Financial Crime Controls

The wider UK payment industry must heed tightened anti-money laundering (AML) regulations proposed for banks and insurance intermediaries, legal experts have warned.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has consulted on changes to its guidance on financial crime systems and controls, outlining the risks of exposure to money laundering that banks and other financial institutions now face. It is due to announce the amendments in its updated AML guidance.

Kim Potts, a financial crime expert and solicitor at London-based law firm Corker Binning, suggested that it is this flexibility that could encourage greater caution on the part of financial institutions.

She told PaymentsCompliance: “A risk-based and proportionate approach will mean that what might be right for one firm won’t necessarily be right for another.

“Firms should tailor their systems and controls to what is most appropriate to their own business model.”

Potts explained that although the guidance is not binding, and so non-compliance is not in itself punishable, companies under investigation by the FCA would be expected to show they have taken into account its contents.

She added: “Firms in the payments industry should ensure they have read and considered the guidance.

“If a firm finds itself on the end of an investigation or enquiry by the FCA, they will be keen to understand if firms have considered their guidance and whether they have adequate systems and controls in place as a result.”

The proposed changes follow industry experts’ calls last year for the FCA to update AML regulation in keeping with technological developments, such as the rise of e-money and crypto-currency.


Read the full article on Payments Compliance here.