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What money laundering?

13 March 2019

The accountancy sector and many smaller professional bodies are too focused on representing their members rather than looking after money laundering supervising standards, says Alison Barker, the director of specialist supervision at the Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS).

Barker revealed the recent comprehensive review found that many bodies still don’t want to believe that there is any money laundering in their sector! And, she is concerned that the blind belief that there isn’t any money laundering in their sector means intelligence isn’t being shared.

There is also a worry among the supervisors that “their membership will walk if they come under scrutiny”, and this could have a real affect on membership fees.

The OPBAS review found some supervisors did not fully understand their role, with 23% having no form of supervision and 18% having no idea who they needed to supervise. Worryingly, 90% of organisations hadn’t fully developed a risk-based approach, and had not collected all the data they needed to form a view about their riskiest members and their services.

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