The 2007 Regulations require all businesses to be supervised by an appropriate anti-money laundering supervisory authority. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is the supervisory authority for the accountancy and tax sector, trust and company service providers, money services businesses and high value dealers. However for many businesses acting as external accountants and/or auditors, tax advisers or insolvency practitioners the supervisor for compliance purposes will be the professional body to which they belong, some money services business may be supervised by the FSA.
A full list of approved supervisory bodies is set out in Schedule 3 to the 2007 Regulations
Other supervisory authorities and bodies include the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), The Solicitors Regulatory Authority, The Financial Services Authority (FSA) and the Gambling Commission, who will between them supervise all the other regulated activities.
This highlights that any firm undertaking any regulated activity must comply with the ML Regulations and be supervised for that compliance. It is now an offence for all regulated firms who are or commence in business not to be registered with a supervisor for AML compliance purposes. Estate agents are the last sector, date for an offence 31 January 2010, though the registers are open for registration.
Each supervisory body will produce guidance notes centred on the core guidance of the Joint Money Laundering steering Group (JMLSG) but will include sector specific guidance identifying the risks associated with those activities.
Many of the registers of the supervised businesses will be made public. This aids the general public to ensure that they are dealing with a registered firm and allows for agencies such as HMRC to effectively ‘police the perimeters’ of the regulated sector.
A confidential hotline at HMRC has now been set up allowing all to report unregistered and non-compliant firms.