Harm Reduction

It is an international fight but the way to think is small. The Regulations are here, not to penalise us, but to help protect us as individual employees working in the regulated sector.  Helping to protect our jobs, the reputations and the profits of the firms we work for.

These Regulations are nothing to be afraid of or worried about. In many ways they are a formalisation and extension of the ‘best practice’ procedures which many firms have already adopted and the ethical approach to working practice that many professional firms and bodies already have in place.

There is no such thing as a victimless crime; even some elements of ‘financial crime’, for example, harm the pension funds that invest in these financial institutions. Unchecked crime harms the communities we live in and in turn damages the legitimate business and private activities of the firms’ clients.

Harm Reduction” is the terminology you will hear from law enforcement to explain one of the benefits of good compliance, so think – good compliance will;-

  • Reduce harm to your firm, working ethically protecting the firms reputation, aiding clients businesses and affairs, which in turn
  • Reduces harm to you, ensuring good employment prospects , maintaining your standard of living, which in turn
  • Reduces harm to your local community, for example, law enforcement officers will tell you about removing a local crime family which in turn can reduce the amount of small crime in an area by as much as 60%

This is the essence of a compliance culture; it is our small part as part of the bigger fight. Closing doors and helping prevent crime locally to us. We gain the benefits of ‘harm reduction’ in exchange for the extra burden of compliance placed upon our firms.

Section 1: Self assessment

  1. Do you understand the international element of the UK legislation (FATF)?
  2. Do you understand that financial crime is also a part of criminal activity?
  3. Do you see that business is a key part of the tools of the money launderer?