Sir Keir Starmer’s first King’s Speech outlined Labour’s most ambitious legislative agenda since 1997 and includes a long list of policy and legislative changes that compliance teams should get ready for. Chiefly among these is the New Deal for Working People, which Labour have pledged to introduce in their first 100 days.

This far-reaching employment rights bill is set to introduce day one rights for all workers, implement work-life balance rules, increase and strengthen statutory sick pay and remove the waiting limit and lower earnings threshold, move towards a single status for workers and employees, and crack down on the gig economy. Along with banning zero-hours contracts, cracking down on ‘fire and re-hire,’ and an expected new single regulator to protect working conditions, this new legislation will keep HR teams busy.

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Last updated: July 2024

The FATF and European Union continually review jurisdictions and identifies those which have strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT regimes. These are known as the FATF Grey List and high risk jurisdictions under the European Union.

Countries are added to the lists several times throughout the year. There are some jurisdictions which are on the EU list but not on the FATF list and vice versa. The UK has its own list under Section 49 of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act, however the UK’s high risk jurisdictions point to the FATF grey list.

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Free download on new pay gap reporting requirements set to be introduced by the Labour government

The Labour government have pledged to close not just the gender pay gap, but the disability and ethnicity pay gap too. Legislation to require organisations to report on their ethnicity and disability pay gap is set to be announced in the King’s Speech. 

Under the party’s plans a new Race Equality Act and amendments to the Equality Act would enshrine in law the full right to equal pay for black, Asian and ethnic minority people, as well as disabled people.

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Regulated firms will have to provide AML and sanctions data

UK regulated firms, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is about to contact you with a new requirement for more of your money laundering and sanctions data.

What information are they looking for? Regulated firms will be asked provide information on:

  • work they carry out within scope of the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds Regulations 2017
  • any contact or involvement they have with the sanctions regime and any persons who are designated under it
  • submission of suspicious activity reports to the National Crime Agency

Firms not involved with one or more of these regimes are still required to submit a nil return.

Take note: The window for responses opens in early August and closes in mid September.

Why are they collecting this data?

The SRA is required by its regulator, the Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision to take a risk-based approach to supervision. It states that to supervise the legal sector effectively, it needs to have accurate data to see the distribution of risk across the legal profession. This in turn informs its programme of inspections and its guidance.

The SRA further states that collecting this information enables it to determine where the risks lie and how it can better allocate resources. Most importantly, the SRA notes, data needs to be up to date and relevant so its approach can evolve and adapt.

Significantly, the SRA adds that if it decides to publish this data, it will make sure that no one can be identified from what it publishes or shares.

Register now for our AML webinar – 31 July 2024

Join us in this free, one-hour webinar where we provide critical information on AML legislation, the many ways in which law firms can get caught up in money laundering and the implications if a firm doesn’t have effective AML workflows in place. Significantly, we will guide firms in how to implement best practice AML workflows to manage their money laundering risks so they can develop an effective AML programme and mitigate their risks of being exposed to financial crime. We’ll also discuss new SRA requirements on collecting AML data.

Labour’s plan for government will affect dozens of areas of compliance, from whistleblowing to employment rights, money laundering and fraud to menopause and the Equality Act. 

Labour’s manifesto commitments and previously announced policies will define the regulatory agenda for this parliament. A mixture of primary legislation, secondary legislation and policy shifts at the regulatory level will see UK organisations affected across every department, from HR to marketing, senior management and back office staff.

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With its 20-point lead in opinion polls, Labour seems poised to win in the UK’s upcoming July 4th election. If indeed Labour form the next government, economic crime in general and anti-money laundering in particular are likely to form the backbone of initial legislation given the unending criticism of the UK’s role in the ‘global laundromat,’ which London was called by shadow foreign secretary David Lammy, though even the former Conservative justice secretary criticised the last government for not introducing this failure to prevent money laundering offence and for watering down the failure to prevent fraud offence.

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The SRA updated its sectoral risk assessment. Here’s what your firm needs to consider

Money laundering and the financing of terrorism are risks to most firms and the means by which criminals target law firms to commit these crimes are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Solicitors are forced to keep pace with the methods of financial crime – to adhere to regulations and to protect their clients and the public interest. Unsurprisingly, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) encourages firms to undertake regular risk assessments.

This past March, the SRA updated its sectoral risk assessment on anti-money laundering (AML) and terrorist financing. Law firms are required to take a risk-based approach, which means that they need to assess their risks and focus their resources on the areas or products that are most likely to be used in financial crime.

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The new act, which demonstrates a shift in the UK’s approach to economic crime and corporate governance, is in its first phase of enactment

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act (ECCTA) is a significant piece of UK legislation that aims to tackle economic crime and improve corporate transparency by strengthening the regulatory framework, increasing accountability and ensuring that companies operate in an open manner. 

“This is one of the most significant moments for Companies House in our long history,” stated Louise Smyth, Chief Executive and Registrar of Companies, referring to the ECCTA’s passing.

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