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  6. What is OPBAS and does it have extensive enforcement powers?

What is OPBAS and does it have extensive enforcement powers?

I recently attended an AML training course. A delegate mentioned a new organisation called OPBAS and said it has extensive enforcement powers. What is OPBAS and is this correct?

The Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS) is a regulatory body which came into effect in January 2018.

It sits within the Financial Conduct Authority and its sole purpose is to ensure that professional body anti-money laundering supervisors meet the standards required by the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (‘the Regulations’).

Although OPBAS is a regulatory body it has no power to supervise or audit individual firms of solicitors.

There are 22 professional body supervisors for anti-money laundering purposes, one of which is the Law Society, and they are listed at Schedule 1 of the Regulations.

For further information, see the Financial Conduct Authority website.

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. The Law Society does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information given.

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