SARs reform programme

The way that suspicious activity reports (SARs) are submitted to the National Crime Agency (NCA) is changing. Find out what steps you need to take.

The programme

In April 2016, the government committed to reforming the SARs regime in its action plan for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing.

The reform programme is ambitious and covers ways to:

  • improve users' experience by developing the SARs Digital Service and replacing the SARs Online System
  • 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

Late 2023 – the SARs Online System will be decommissioned

September 2023 – the SAR Portal opens to all organisations on 18 September, replacing the SARs Online System. The portal is expected to become the only reporting route for all organisations. To prepare, review the user guides on the NCA website and portal guidance signpost (PDF)

August 2022 – the NCA held a webinar demonstrating the SAR Portal

June 2022 – organisations from across different sectors began to use the SAR Portal

March 2022 – beta testing for the SAR Portal began

August 2021 – organisations from across the regulated sector (including the Solicitors Regulation Authority) shared feedback on the SAR Portal

April 2016 – the SARs reform programme was launched

Next steps

The SAR Portal opens on 18 September 2023.

For technical questions, email

For feedback and general questions, email

Find out more

Whether you're a fee earner or a money laundering reporting officer, recognising signs of money laundering is a continual challenge.

Learn more about the common warning signs and how to respond

Check our guidance on SARs to find out more about when to make a report, what to include and what happens if you fail to report suspicious activity to the NCA.

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