20 September 2016

One of the paradoxes of the post-Brexit world is that, while one part of Government is gearing up for the negotiations to leave the Union, other departments are busily working to meet the UK’s obligations with regard to EU legislation.

As both the Prime Minister and the European Commission have made clear, however, until the Article 50 talks are concluded, the UK remains a member of the organisation and is subject to all its rules and laws.

That is why the Treasury has launched a consultation into how the UK should implement the EU’s Fourth Money Laundering Directive (2015/849) which is set to come into force in all Member States on 26 June 2017.

In the UK, the two pieces of legislation that will need to be updated to take account of the new directive’s requirements are the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA).

The Treasury consultation, which is open for comments until 10 November 2016, can be found at www.gov.uk.

It notes that there are over 150,000 businesses covered under the UK regulations which require those businesses to “know their customers” and manage their money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF) risks.

As well as to banks, the consultation will be of particular interest to estate agents, accountants, letting agents, anyone involved in gambling, providers of electronic money services and, of course, the legal sector.

Among other changes, the new directive affects customer due diligence (CDD) measures, so that CDD will be required by anyone trading goods in cash with a value over €10,000 (instead of €15,000 as at present), and by casinos where customers wish to place a stake or collect winnings of at least €2000.