SARs reform programme

The programme

In April 2016, the government committed to reform the suspicious activity reports (SARs) regime in its action plan for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing.

The reform programme is ambitious and covers ways to:

  • improve the user experience of the current IT system by developing the SARs Digital Service and replacing the SAR Online portal
  • facilitate mutual feedback between intelligence users and providers
  • improve the quality and quantity of reporting by analysing the drivers behind higher and lower value SARs
  • introduce tiering of SARs, allowing reporters to indicate whether they believe they are providing valuable intelligence to UK Financial Intelligence Unit (UKFIU)

Our view

An improved SARs regime should result in better and more frequent publication of typologies to help solicitors understand how criminals might approach them, and what to look out for.

What's changing

  • The launch of the first SARs IT release will now take place between January and March 2022
  • Feedback sessions on the new SAR Online portal are being carried out across the regulated sector (including with the Solicitors Regulation Authority)

  • The programme began user feedback sessions on the SAR Online portal with reporters from the regulated sector
  • Testing of bulk submission of SARs began through the new mechanism

  • The SARs reform programme was launched

Get involved

The UKFIU is inviting all members of the regulated sector to respond to a short survey, to help the UKFIU understand how well it’s supporting reporters and the impact of changes being made.

Complete the survey

The survey closes at 6pm on 22 October 2021.

If you have any questions, email UKFIUengagement@nca.gov.uk.

To get involved in user feedback and testing, email sarsitusertesting@nc.gov.uk.

Next steps

The NCA will continue carrying out user testing with SAR Online users.

It’s also due to start user research with law enforcement agencies and other government departments.

The NCA has created a demo video on the new portal. We will circulate this as soon as possible.

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