A Commentary from RUSI on 27 April reminds on that OPBAS, within the FCA, was established in 2018 to drive improvements in the quality of AML supervision carried out by non-state professional body supervisors in the accountancy and legal sectors. The Commentary says that the significance of the report’s findings to the UK’s AML efforts should not be underestimated. It says that the OPBAS second annual report makes heartening reading in many respects – for example, the Commentary says, 86% of professional body supervisors have a proper risk assessments in place to drive their supervisory approach, the vast majority are using on-site visits as a supervisory tool, the majority now have intelligence handling processes in place and there has been a significant increase in the number of enforcement actions taken. However, it also notes that OPBAS has had to resort to using one of its more coercive tools – the issuing of a ‘direction’ requiring information or documents to be provided – against 3 supervisors; and also highlights the continuing reluctance of many supervisors to use enforcement tools, rather than guidance.
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