On 26 October 2017, the Treasury published an update to the National Risk Assessment (NRA) of money laundering and terrorist financing.
The NRA is the Government’s assessment of the key Money Laundering (ML) and terrorist financing threats facing the UK including the susceptibility of the sectors to money laundering and terrorist financing.
Key findings from the report include:
- the criminal exploitation of banks, professional and financial services and cash remain the greatest areas of money laundering risk to the UK
- cash remains the preferred method for terrorists to move funds through and out of the country
- a wide-ranging set of reforms by government, like introducing the ability to investigate suspicious asset trails and to crack down on illicit finance over recent years are starting to take effect
Chapter four of the document specifically relates to financial services. It highlights the strategic importance of the UK financial services sector and recognises that its size and openness make it attractive to criminals. It also identifies steps the FCA, law enforcement and the industry have taken to address the threats, for example, strengthening accountability and improving information sharing through the Joint Money Laundering Intelligence Taskforce.