On 18th December, HM Treasury published its response to its consultation which sought views on whether the draft Oversight of Professional Body AML and Counter Terrorist Financing (CTF) Supervision Regulations (“the OPBAS Regulations”) delivered on the government’s intention that the Office for Professional Body AML Supervision (OPBAS) helps to ensure that professional body AML supervisors (PBS) comply with their obligations in the Money Laundering Regulations; and the impact on business from establishing OPBAS. The OPBAS regulations have now been laid in Parliament, and will take effect on 17th January when OPBAS will become operational. HM Treasury has to review whether OPBAS is the most effective and efficient way to fulfill requirements by June 26th 2022.
The response makes clear that the powers of OPBAS to publicly censure or recommend the removal of a PBS will apply to all relevant breaches. The government has also clarified that OPBAS may publicly censure or recommend the removal of a PBS, or both, in response to a single contravention. An appendix to the response is in Q&A format, answering many of the questions posed by a number of respondents.