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Anti-money laundering guidance for the accountancy sector

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HM Treasury has approved the new CCAB anti-money laundering guidance for the accountancy sector, updated for the 2017 regulations, which covers all entities providing audit, accountancy, tax advisory, insolvency, and trust and company services.

The Consultative Committee of Accounting Bodies (CCAB) has published new guidance for all entities providing audit, accountancy, tax advisory, insolvency or related services such as trust and company services, by way of business.

The guidance has been updated for the 2017 Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Regulations and is approved by HM Treasury. It has also been adopted by the UK accountancy AML supervisory bodies. The guidance covers the prevention of money laundering and the countering of terrorist financing.

Andrew Burns, CCAB Chairman says: “The approval of the guidance by HM Treasury is very welcome. As key gatekeepers for the financial system, accountants have a vital role to play in preventing their services from being used for criminal purposes including the funding of terrorism. The guidance is an important framework to ensure accountants remain vigilant, work with integrity, and uphold the law.”

Because the guidance has been approved by HM Treasury, the courts must take account of its contents when considering whether a tax adviser’s (or accountant’s) conduct gives rise to an offence under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, or the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations, SI 2017/692.

Businesses supervised by HMRC that provide both accountancy services and trust or company services should generally follow the CCAB guidance, but also have regard to HMRC’s ‘Anti-money laundering guidance for trust or company services providers’. Businesses solely providing trust or company services and supervised by HMRC should follow the HMRC guidance.