Anti-Money Laundering – New regulations
HMRC have issued an important information notice for Money Service Businesses (MSBs). These include bureaus de change, money transmitters and third party cheque cashers. There are special rules for MSBs such as the need to put proper anti-money laundering systems in place to identify and prevent money laundering and the need to complete a comprehensive application to register with HRMC.
The notice refers to new powers awarded to HM Treasury (HMT) under the Counter Terrorism Act and which came into force on 26 November 2008.
Specifically this means that HMT can issue a direction to some or all MSBs where one or more of the following apply:
- The Financial Action Task Force advises that measures should be taken in relation to the country because of the risk of terrorist financing or money laundering activities
- HMT reasonably believe that there is a risk of terrorist financing or money laundering activities and that this poses a significant risk to the national interests of the UK
- HMT reasonably believe that a country is involved in developing nuclear, radiological, biological or chemical weapons and that this poses a significant risk to the national interests of the UK
Whilst specific guidance will be issued with each direction it is likely that certain customers or transactions will need to be identified and detailed checks carried out.
HRMC recommend that all MSBs sign up to The Treasury email alert system to be kept informed of relevant information and directions.