Среда, 31 июля 2019 апдейт:

1. Recent developments

Volume of SARs

1.77 The numbers of SARs submitted to the UKFIU continues to rise. The UKFIU has confirmed that it received and processed 463,938 SARs between April 2017 and March 2018. This amounts to a 9.6% increase on the volume of SARs in 2016-17. The NCA describe it as a «record number».

1.78 Of the total number of SARs received, 22,619 were authorised disclosures seeking consent to proceed with a transaction where there was a suspicion of criminal property (now referred to by the UKFIU as a «Defence Against Money Laundering» SAR or «DAML SARs»). This represents a 20% increase on the previous year's volume of disclosures. A further 423 resulted from suspected terrorist financing («Defence Against Terrorist Financing» or «DATF SARs»). The trend for an increasing volume of disclosures has continued.

1.79 Of the total number of authorised disclosures lodged in respect of suspected money laundering, consent was refused in 1,291 cases (5.70%). In relation to authorised disclosures in respect of suspected terrorist financing there were 42 cases in which consent was refused (9.93%). The NCA reported that £51,907,067 was denied to criminals as a result of DAML requests (both refused and granted).

1.80 Of the 1,291 authorised disclosures where a suspicion of money laundering was identified and consent was refused initially, 440 (34.08% of overall refusals) were subsequently granted in the moratorium period.

1.81 The NCA have told us that since our consultation, the volume of authorised disclosures that they are receiving continues to rise and the regime in its present form is untenable:

Pressures on the DAML (consent) regime have continued, to rise. In February 2019 we received 4,000 DAMLs compared with 2,000 in February 2018, a 100% increase. While the DAML regime produces operational results, clearly this is unsustainable.

FATF Mutual Evaluation - underreporting and concerns about the quality of SARs

1.82 The Financial Action Task Force («FATF») conducted its evaluation of the UK's anti¬money laundering and counter-terrorist financing measures in 2018, publishing its findings in December. The evaluation offered a broadly positive assessment of existing measures. However, FATF observed that:

... while reports of a high quality are being received, the SAR regime requires a significant overhaul to improve the quality of financial intelligence available to the competent authorities.

1.83 FATF also raised concerns about the quality of SARs lodged even by those who are regular reporters:

The requirement to report SARs applies to all financial institutions and DNFBPs as required by the FATF. Ordinarily, this should ensure that financial intelligence from all of the sectors covered by the FATF Recommendations is available, but the low level of reporting in many sectors and the poor quality of many SARs has a negative impact on the quality and usefulness of the financial intelligence available to the competent authorities.

There is a risk that investigative opportunities, particularly relating to complex criminal activity, may be missed as a result of a lack of comprehensive, cross agency analysis of available financial intelligence and the poor quality of SARs.

1.84 FATF reported that SARs contributed to around 7,900 investigations, 2,000 prosecutions and 1,400 convictions annually for standalone money laundering offences or where money laundering is the principal offence.

Reflecting the high volume of reporting and the wide variety of sectors and businesses incorporated into the UK's anti-money laundering/counter terrorist financing regime, there are concerns about the quality of reporting by all reporting entities, including banks. During the on-site visit, some firms indicated that they were sometimes filing SARs in response to unexplained/unusual transactions without additional analysis or investigation. LEAs reported concerns about the quality of the SARs, including that they lacked information on a genuine suspicion of money laundering or terrorist financing.

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