The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has completed an assessment of the implementation of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing standards in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK). Among its major findings were:
- The UK has a comprehensive legal structure to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The money laundering offences are broad, and the number of prosecutions is increasing. The terrorist financing offence is also broad.
- There are comprehensive powers to restrain, confiscate, and recover proceeds of crime, and to freeze and seize terrorist-related assets.
- Overall, the UK FIU, housed within the Serious Organised Crime Agency, is now an effective FIU.
- Currently, the main deficiencies for customer due diligence (CDD) lie in the fact that certain requirements, such as beneficial ownership, are not laid out in law or regulation. The situation will be improved with the implementation of the Third EU Money Laundering Directive later in 2007.
- The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has extensive powers to monitor and ensure compliance by the firms it regulations. While the supervisory system is comprehensive for the larger firms, supervision of small firms requires enhancement.
- All designated non-financial business and professions (DNFBPs) as defined by the FATF are currently covered. There is generally comprehensive monitoring of casinos, lawyers, and most accountants; the deficiencies lie in the lack of monitoring for the real estate and company service provider sectors, which will be supervised with the implementation of the Third EU Money Laundering Directive.
This mutual evaluation was conducted using the FATF Recommendations as published in October 2004, and the 2004 Methodology for Assessing Compliance with the FATF 40 Recommendations and FATF 9 Special Recommendations.