The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has fined the conveyancing firm, Ferguson Bricknell Solicitors, £20,000 ($24,400) for falling short of its anti-money laundering (AML) obligations. The firm also had to pay £1,350 for the cost of the SRA probe. The fine was issued under a regulatory settlement agreement following an investigation by the SRA.

The investigation found that the firm did not have a compliant, practice-wide, anti-money laundering (AML) risk assessment in place until July 29, 2022, and also failed to fully assess its product/services risks, specifically those associated with conveyancing and controlling client money, which accounted for 75% of its fee income. The risks associated with conveyancing should have been addressed in the assessment provided when the investigation began.

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UK law firms subject to the Money Laundering Regulations are required to establish an independent audit function to examine, evaluate and make recommendations regarding the adequacy and effectiveness of their practice’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing policies, controls, and procedures.

Our guide will help you understand the five main stages of an external independent audit.

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From new ESG regulations to a crackdown on bribery, rapid fluctuations in crypto currency, changes to the regulated sector and the ongoing conflict in Europe demanding a laser-like focus on the supply chain, 2023 looks set to demand even more from compliance professionals.

We have created an in-depth guide to everything compliance in 2023. The guide covers the top ten items you can expect to see in your regulatory inbox, with tips on next steps.

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The crypto currency market soundly collapsed in 2022, but crypto currencies linger on. FTX, once valued at $32 billion, went bankrupt as its founder was arrested for perpetrating one of the biggest frauds in history. 

The market began to take a nosedive after Celsius Network, a former cryptocurrency lending company, announced it was pausing all withdrawals and transfers between accounts in order to “honor, over time, withdrawal obligations.” Celsius has nearly 2 million customers and held more than $10 billion in assets.

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The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) held its latest plenary at the end of October 2022 and updated the list of jurisdictions under increased monitoring for money laundering and terrorist financing concerns. Jurisdictions on this list are working with the FATF to address strategic deficiencies in their regimes with regard to countering money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing. These countries have committed to work to resolve the deficiencies within the agreed timeframes. The FATF does not require enhanced due diligence measures to be applied to these jurisdictions and does not wish to cut off entire classes of customers, but calls for the application of a risk-based approach for businesses working with these jurisdictions.

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The key challenges of AML compliance in Latin America and the Caribbean

Whether conducting risk assessments or reviewing client due diligence, it is vital to understand the risks and responsibilities of money laundering challenges for different jurisdictions.

In this article, VinciWorks considers the key AML challenges and laws in Trinidad and Tobago, and what organisations should consider when assessing customer, geographic or matter risk.

For more on the key AML risks and challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean, download our free guide to compliance.

Click here to download a free copy.

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All UK law firms subject to the Money Laundering Regulations are required to establish an independent audit function to examine, evaluate and make recommendations regarding the adequacy and effectiveness of their practice’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing policies, controls, and procedures. This can be carried out via an internal or an external auditor.

According to the Money Laundering Regulations, an AML audit does not need to be conducted by an external auditor; however, over 50% of firms do choose this method. When one additionally considers LSAG guidance, conducting an external audit makes a lot of sense. LSAG guidance stresses: 

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The key challenges of AML compliance in Latin America and the Caribbean

Whether conducting risk assessments or reviewing client due diligence, it is vital to understand the risks and responsibilities of money laundering challenges for different jurisdictions.

In this article, VinciWorks considers the key AML challenges and laws in Suriname, and what organisations should consider when assessing customer, geographic or matter risk.

For more on the key AML risks and challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean, download our free guide to compliance.

Click here to download a free copy.

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The key challenges of AML compliance in Latin America and the Caribbean

Whether conducting risk assessments or reviewing client due diligence, it is vital to understand the risks and responsibilities of money laundering challenges for different jurisdictions.

In this article, VinciWorks considers the key AML challenges and laws in Peru, and what organisations should consider when assessing customer, geographic or matter risk.

For more on the key AML risks and challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean, download our free guide to compliance.

Click here to download a free copy.

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The SRA requires UK law firms subject to the Money Laundering Regulations to carry out independent AML audits on a regular basis. In this blog post we’ll explain what an independent AML audit is and why they are important.

What is an independent AML audit?

An independent AML audit is an examination of a firm’s anti-money laundering systems. It is not a financial audit, but rather a test carried out by an impartial body to assess whether a firm’s AML and anti-terrorist financing policies, controls and procedures are up to date, comply with regulations, and are functioning correctly. It can be seen as one of the components of an effective anti-money laundering program.

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