The Money Laundering Regulations (MLR) are designed to protect the UK financial system and put in place certain controls to prevent businesses being used for money laundering by criminals and terrorists.
HMRC has named 240 supervised businesses that have been fined a total of £3.2 million for not complying with the anti-money laundering rules. The fines were issued between 1 July and 31 December 2022 for breaches of the regulations designed to stop criminals laundering money from illegal activity.
One of the businesses, based in London, was hit with a large fine of £1.4 million for failing to carry out risk assessments, not having appropriate anti-money laundering controls, and failing to conduct proper due diligence checks.
This crackdown on money service businesses has resulted in a significant reduction in these types of firms over the last number of years.
HMRC is clear that money service businesses provide vital services to the community, offering currency exchange, money transmission and cheque cashing. However, criminals can exploit them to launder the proceeds of crime and so must have a robust risk assessment and policies, controls, and procedures to prevent this.