FCA Issues Report on Progress of Professional Body AML Supervision (OPBAS)

  • Richard Marley
  • September 21, 2021
  • 2 minutes read
  • 217

The report has highlighted key areas of improvement, including effective implementation of a risk-based AML approach and robust due diligence methods.  

The Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS) has today released its latest report on the progress made against money laundering activities by regulators over the past year. 

The report acknowledges the improved efforts made by Professional Body Supervisors (PBSs) within the accountancy and legal sectors in tackling money laundering. However, it also highlights significant weaknesses in the effectiveness of meeting Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance standards. 

The report stated a rise in the number of AML fines issued. It also points out a 47% reduction in the number of supervisory reviews undertaken by regulators in 2020. On the other hand, a 38% increase in post review activity by firms has been identified.

Areas of improvement which the PBSs need to focus more on have been identified as the following:

  • Effective adoption of a risk-based approach following a thorough assessment of AML risks
  • Effective intelligence and information sharing among PBSs, law enforcement, statutory supervisors, and other agencies that address AML risk
  • A robust PBS enforcement framework

This round of supervisory assessments also took into view the PBSs’ response to Covid-19. FCA states that there are good examples of PBSs amending their risk-based approach to factor in pandemic-specific challenges, such as providing updated guidance on updated methods of performing customer due diligence verification.

The full OPBAS report can be viewed here

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