Home Office publishes DAML exemption guidance

The Home Office has published guidance on money laundering reporting obligations in relation to the DAML exemption provisions the ECCTA has introduced.

Before the ECCTA took effect, the threshold amount below which firms did not have to submit a suspicion report under POCA was £1,000 and applied only for acts in operation of an account with a bank or similar institution. It did not apply to actions such as returning funds to a customer.

The ECCTA has now introduced further exemptions from the three principal money laundering offences:

  • to exempt all businesses in the AML regulated sector from the need to report when they end a customer relationship and pay away property worth under £1,000 – provided the business has complied with all CDD requirements under the MLR;
  • to enable businesses in the AML regulated sector to give customers proportionate access to their accounts when only part of the customer assets fall under suspicion – but the amount falling within the suspicion must be retained.

There is also a new exemption for the failure to report offence, where the information that causes the suspicion results from a status or immigration check carried out in compliance with the Immigration Act 2014.

The guidance explains that to some extent the old and new exemptions can be used together, so long as all the relevant conditions can be met – for instance, the first new exemption can be used only when terminating a relationship whereas the “mixed asset” exemption requires the regulated firm to retain the assets under suspicion.

Emma Radmore