S328: A person commits an offence if he enters into or becomes concerned in an arrangement which he knows or suspects facilitates (by whatever means) the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property by or on behalf of another person.
S328 offences causes the staff member of a regulated firm concern, we need to dissect the wording to understand the risk. It states “A person commits and offence:
“If he enters into or becomes concerned in an arrangement”. We have to understand that a professional relationship with a client is an arrangement under S328.
“facilitates (by whatever means)”. Facilitates means to aid, make easier, which is why we enter into the arrangement. To use the expertise of our firm and our good offices in exchange for fees for services we charge. “which he knows or suspects” is the final piece.
In simple terms, if a customer commits an offence and uses our services to help facilitate it and we had reasonable ground to suspect and did not make a report we could be classed as negligent, committing an offence of a failure to report or acting in league with the client.
A further danger of the arrangements offence occurs when a transaction has not yet occurred.