In March 2018, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) published the results of its review that included visits to more than 50 firms, and its risk assessment. The SRA says that, in July 2017, it began visiting 50 firms. During the visits it met with the management at each firm, interviewed 50 fee earners and reviewed 100 client matters. The firms were made up of 25 large firms and 25 medium and smaller firms (including 2 sole practitioners). It found that, overall, most firms visited are taking appropriate steps to understand and reduce the risk of money laundering, and to comply with the new regulations, and the SRA was also encouraged that some firms are going beyond the minimum requirements, for example to test training and compliance. Most fims are generally carrying out appropriate CDD. It did find areas of concern – not all firms were keeping records of their decisions, and many had not made progress with putting a firm-wide risk assessment in place. The SRA says that it expects firms to move towards compliance as a matter of urgency. A small number of firms have a significant amount of work to do to improve both processes and practice, the SRA saying that this is a serious issue and if firms fail to comply it will take regulatory action and following the review it has referred 6 firms for disciplinary processes.
How do firms collect CDD about clients?
What evidence is gathered by firms?