The Law Commission has today launched a major consultation paper on anti-money laundering legislation. The review is focused on the 'consent regime' contained in Part 7 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and Part 3 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and aims to improve the effectiveness of the regime and reduce the number of 'low quality' suspicious activity reports submitted to the National Crime Agency.
The Commission has set out a range of provisional proposals, including:
- statutory guidance on what to look for and a set format for submitting suspicious activity reports
- asking whether new tools could help enforcement, like US-style Geographic Targeting Orders
- a new power to require additional detail and record keeping requirements targeted at specific transactions
- cutting back on low quality reports by focusing on accounts where there are reasonable grounds to suspect property is criminal property
- providing detail as to what amounts to a defence of 'reasonable excuse' for not making a suspicious activity report
- asking whether organisations should be liable for failure to prevent a criminal offence when an employee fails to disclose a suspicion
The Law Society, through its Money Laundering Task Force, will be submitting a response to the consultation, which runs until 5 October 2018.
More information about the project can be found at the Law Commission's website.