With new European regulations set to be implemented in the New Year, anti-money-laundering specialists SmartSearch have produced a guide to the top five changes for businesses likely to be affected by the regulations:
- Strict conditions for the issuing of e-money and prepaid cards
- A clampdown on virtual currency bringing cryptocurrencies into scope for the first time
- Registers of beneficial ownership to be made publicly accessible
- Better access to information for Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs)
- Increased due diligence for individuals and businesses in high-risk countries
The Fifth EU Money Laundering Directive (5MLD) is due to be transposed into domestic law by 10th January 2020.
The Treasury has yet to produce final regulations for British businesses but the Directive sets out minimum requirements for Member States. The UK government has previously indicated that it will implement and enforce the new rules regardless of the country’s future relationship with the EU.
The Directive also specifically endorses the use of electronic ID verification, and states that it should be used wherever available.
Money-laundering regulations affect a wide range of businesses in the property sector including lenders, estate agents, brokers and conveyancers. The new Directive will further expand this to letting agents for high-value properties.
Failure to comply with the regulations can result in prosecution and heavy financial penalties.
Commenting on the launch of the guide, Martin Cheek, managing director of SmartSearch commented: “Although we’ve yet to see final details, the new money-laundering regulations are bound to have a serious impact for large numbers of firms in the UK and across the EU.
“We have called on the Government to publish the final rules without delay so businesses can prepare more effectively and ensure they are compliant. In the meantime, our ‘Top Five’ guide is aimed at giving them a bit of a helping hand.”
Full details of the guide can be found at https://www.smartsearch.com/resources/blog/5-amendments-of-5th-anti-money-laundering-directive