By Elizabeth Hearst
The British Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has warned that they will be running spot checks on firms’ anti money laundering policies as it ramps up its campaign against corporate misconduct.
The regulator is following the lead set by the Financial Conduct Authority in maximising its efforts to crack down on money laundering.
As part of this, the SRA has said it will expand visits to high risks firms on a three year rolling basis, as well as visiting a sample of low risk firms. These plans were revealed in their recently published draft business plan 2020/2021, which includes increasing its allocation for AML from 2.5% to 3% of its overall budget.
This policy change comes after concerns were raised that solicitors were being used as venues for money laundering to support organised crime and terrorism. A review from 2019 has found that more than a third of British firms had not carried out a full risk assessment and half of the reports received by the SRA found a firm had not carried out sufficient due diligence.