Regulatory Decisions

OFT fines Leicester-based estate agent almost twelve thousand pounds

The OFT, in its first formal Regulatory penalty, has fined Leicester-based IPS Estate Agents Limited £11,844 for failing to comply with anti-money laundering regulations. IPS failed to comply with a number of requirements under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007, including those relating to: verifying the identity of customers keeping appropriate records ensuring that relevant staff […]

Memorandum of Understanding between HMRC and the FSA for joint supervision

A Memorandum of Understanding between HMRC and the FSA was published on the FSA website on 1 June 2012. It’s about sharing information and joint visits. This will be of particular relevance to many money services businesses whom are supervised not just under the Money Laundering Regulations by HMRC but are also the FSA by […]

Landmark decision in Shah v HSBC Private Bank brings welcome relief for firms

After four and half years, six reported decisions, three trips to the Court of Appeal and 27 days of trial, the High Court of Justice has today dismissed in its entirety Mr Shah and his wife’s claim for over US$300m against HSBC Private Bank (UK) Limited. This is a landmark decision that confirms a bank’s […]

Coutts fined for failings in money laundering controls

Private bank Coutts has been fined £8.75m by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) for not taking adequate measures to prevent money laundering. The FSA said the failings “resulted in an unacceptable risk of Coutts handling the proceeds of crime”. The findings related to high-risk people, especially those whose political positions meant they were vulnerable to […]

Shah v HSBC: Court of Appeal Says the Identity of Staff Making SARs in Good Faith is Not Disclosable

The Court of Appeal in London ruled on 13 October that HSBC Private Bank did not have to disclose the identity of employees who had made internal reports which had led to suspicious activity reports (“SARs”) being filed with the authorities unless there was a firm suggestion on bad faith on their part.

The judgment is the result of satellite litigation arising from the more famous 2010 case of Shah v HSBC, in which the Court of Appeal ruled that parties which had suffered loss as a result of SARs being filed were entitled to demand proof from the regulated institution responsible that the suspicion on which the SAR was founded existed.