Anti Money Laundering (AML) in United Kingdom
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Money laundering in the United Kingdom (UK) is an ongoing problem. Because the UK is such a large international financial center, it is vulnerable to money laundering through its relationships with other countries.
The UK has always put forth a strong effort to maintain its comprehensive Anti-Money Laundering (AML) system. For example, the UK has implemented many of the provisions of the European Union’s two Directives on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering, and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Forty Plus Nine Recommendations. In addition, banks and non-bank financial institutions in the UK must report suspicious transactions.
In November 2001, money laundering regulations were extended to money service bureaus (e.g., bureaux de change andmoney transmission companies). As of January 1, 2004, more business sectors are subject to formal Suspicious Transaction Reporting (STR) requirements.
The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 went into effect on January 1, 2003. The Act creates, for the regulated sector, a new criminal offense of failing to disclose suspicious transactions in respect to all crimes, not just narcotics or terrorism-related crimes, as was the case previously. Along with the Act came an expansion of investigative powers relative to large movements of cash in the UK. The UK Money Laundering Legislation of 2007 went into effect on December 15, 2007. An amendment in 2012 extended the scope of the regulations to include estate agents, and included a power for professional supervisory bodies to share information with each other.
AML Training in the UK
The Proceeds of Crime Act of 2002 requires that all financial institutions operating within the United Kingdom implement Anti-Money Laundering/Counter Terrorist Financing (AML/CTF) training programs to combat illicit activity.
The Economy of the UK
The UK economy is the largest in Europe after Germany, at the same time it is also ranked as the fifth worldwide in terms of GDP. The GDP of the UK economy grew by around 3% in the 2006 fiscal year.
London, the capital of UK, is one of the most important centers of trade and commerce in the world along with New York City and Tokyo. The UK economy is characterized by a free market involving a low taxation and regulation on the part of the administration.
The service sector of the UK is dominated by financial services, especially in banking and insurance. London is the world's largest financial center with the London Stock Exchange, the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange, and the Lloyd's of London insurance market all based in the City of London.
Banking in the UK
British banking has been highly consolidated since the early 20th century. Unlike some other major economies, the UK does not have a major stratum of independent local banks.
The UK’s major banks include:
Bank supervision falls under the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The FSA’s primary responsibilities relate to the safety and soundness of the institutions under its jurisdiction. The FSA also plays an important role in the fight against money laundering through its continued involvement in the authorization of banks, and investigations of money laundering activities involving banks.
The UK has the largest concentration of foreign bank branches in the world. In the past decade, a rival financial centre in London has grown in the Docklands area, with HSBC and Barclays Bank relocating their head offices there. Many multinational companies that are not primarily UK-based have chosen to site their European or rest-of-world headquarters in London: an example is the US financial services firm Citigroup. The Scottish capital, Edinburgh, is also one of the large financial centers of Europe.
The pound sterling is the currency of the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory, and British Indian Ocean Territory.
The British Pound (GBP) is the currency of the UK. It is available in both banknotes and coins.
Because the UK is a member of the European Union (EU) it has the option of adopting the Euro as its official currency, but no steps have been taken to do so.
Other Key Statistics of the UK
Time Zone: (GMT), Summer (DST) - BST (UTC+1).
Location: The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland comprises the island of Great Britain (most of England, Scotland and Wales) and the northeastern 1/6 of the island of Ireland (Northern Ireland), together with smaller islands. The mainland lies between latitudes 49° and 59° N (the Shetland Islands reach to nearly 61° N), and longitudes 8° W to 2° E.
Population: 64,100,00 (2013 estimate.)
Languages Spoken: English, Welsh (about 26% of the population of Wales), Scottish form of Gaelic (about 60,000 in Scotland).