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The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) warned the UK government that reforming Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorsim Financing (CFT) regulations will expose UK businesses to various financial crimes.
According to the National Crime Agency, around £36 billion to £90 billion were laundered in the UK. To prevent money laundering, HM Treasury is considering proposals to oversee the entire accountancy profession through the unification of AML supervision under a single entity, possibly a single private firm. AAT warned that the money laundered amount would be increased after the latest reforms, weaken the AML compliance measures, and expose businesses to money laundering scammers.
Director of Professional Standards and Policy at AAT, Adam Harper, warned, “AAT members and other accountants have to meet strict anti-money laundering regulations to ensure their clients are not at risk. Some of the government’s new proposals, including plans to create a private body to police money laundering rules for all professional services, could potentially open the floodgates to organized criminals seeking to launder money in the UK.”
HM treasury issued a plan on reforming AML and CFT supervisory measurements to comply with the Economic Crime Plan 2023 to 2026. According to this new consultation, AML regulations for accountants and attorneys who engage with firms to safeguard them against financial crime are considered to be updated by the HM Treasury. Accountants right now follow strict regulations to combat money laundering. Specialist enforcement agencies supervise their compliance procedure and oversee their due diligence system to safeguard businesses against financial crimes. The Director also urged HM Treasury “to strengthen the current system rather than attempt to dismantle and rebuild the whole AML regime, which brings with it major risks for the UK’s small and medium-sized businesses, who make up the backbone of UK plc.”