Government consults on AML supervision reform

Treasury is consulting on reform to the AML and CTF supervisory system, in line with commitments in the Economic Crime Plan 2023-6.

Treasury’s 2022 review of the UK’s AML/CTF regime identified that there had been continued improvement, but that there were weaknesses in supervision. It set out four possible models for the structural reform:

  1. Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS) + – no structural change to the regime, but OPBAS given enhanced powers to increase effectiveness of supervision by Professional Body Supervisors (PBSs)
  2. PBS consolidation – either two or six PBSs to retain responsibility for AML/CTF supervision. This would be either one accountancy sector supervisor and one legal sector supervisor, both with UK-wide remits, or one of each sector supervisor for each of the jurisdictions of England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  3. Single Professional Services Supervisor (SPSS) –  a single body to supervise all legal and accountancy sector firms, and possibly also some or all of the wider sectors currently supervised by HMRC
  4. Single Anti-Money Laundering Supervisor (SAS) – all AML/CTF supervision in the UK undertaken by a single public body. FCA and the Gambling Commission would cease their supervision responsibilities.

The consultation further develops these models, seeking responses on potential advantages and disadvantages of each. Treasury also seeks views on whether to expand requirements on supervisors and their regulated firms and individuals on sanctions compliance.

The consultation closes on 30 September 2023.

Laura Wiles