On 20th July, the Law Commission said that AML laws should be streamlined and strengthened to help law enforcement agencies to focus on serious crime in a consultation paper. It is said that reporting scheme are not working as well as it should and enforcement agencies are struggling with a significant number of low-quality reports and criminals could be slipping through the net. It identifies a number of problems, including –
- significant numbers of low quality SARs may be making investigation difficult;
- an onerous compliance burden is placed on the regulated sector – UK banks say that they spend at least £5 billion annually on core financial crime compliance, including enhanced systems and controls and recruitment of staff; and
- there is the risk of severe financial loss to businesses and individuals who are the subject of disclosure – they cannot be told why transfers of funds are delayed due to the threat of a “tipping off” offence being committed by the institution.
In the consultation paper the independent Law Commission has published plans for reform. Responses have to be received by 5th October.
The consultation is available at –