Anti-money-laundering enablers

Think tank: RUSI


October 24, 2023

This report from UK think tank RUSI looks at the four key challenges and how to address them.

Kathryn Westmore

In the report, Kathryn outlines how the legal and accounting industries have faced mounting criticism over their apparent failure to effectively prevent and detect illicit actors’ money laundering activities, particularly in the wake of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The UK government has recently consulted on the need for a radical reform of the UK’s anti-money laundering framework. The legal and accountancy sectors are potentially facing the most significant changes to the way in which they are supervised for anti-money laundering purposes in 15 years.

Kathryn goes on to outline four obstacles to enforcing more robust anti-money-laundering obligations on both industries. These include: 1. Tailoring supervisory tools to the way in which each industry operates, while also ensuring the consistency of outcomes which is an essential part of effective anti-money laundering supervision across the broad range of actors in the regulated sector. 2. Developing a much more granular and consistent understanding of anti-money laundering risks in the legal and accountancy sectors. 3. Addressing, through government, the urgent need for transparency, openness and trust between regulated firms, regulators and law enforcement. 4. Understanding how professionals can be incentivised to improve the levels of anti-money laundering compliance in the legal and accountancy sectors.