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Treasury changes financial sanctions reporting regime

Solicitors are among those businesses that could face Government action if they fail to report information that could undermine UK financial sanctions.

The Treasury announced yesterday (August 8) the list of organisations that would be captured by its European Union Financial Sanctions Regulations 2017, which includes “independent legal professionals”. The existing regulations already placed an obligation on businesses to report to the Treasury if they were acting for anyone subject to financial sanctions, but enforcement action could only be taken against financial services firms.

Crispin Passmore, SRA Executive Director, Policy, said: “The new financial sanctions regulations mean legal firms are obliged to comply with the reporting regime. These regulations, and the approaching Financial Action Task Force inspection, are further reminders of the importance the UK and global community places on tackling terrorist financing.

“Risks exist for every single solicitor and law firm whether conveyancing on the high street or handling global transactions, and each should be thinking about their responsibilities for tackling these issues.”

The new regulations can be found here:

Go to the regulations

The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) has updated its Guide to Financial Sanctions to help individuals and businesses understand and comply with reporting requirements. This can be found here:

Go to the guidance

The other professions and businesses included in the regulations are auditors, casinos, dealers in precious metals or stones, estate agents, external accountants, tax advisors, and trust or company service providers.