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Future IPA AML regulation: What members can expect

The IPA, as an AML Supervisory Authority (SA), has recently had its second oversight regulation inspection visit from the Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS). OPBAS’s recently received report has noted the amount of work that the IPA has undertaken to improve our regulation of AML, particularly the information and guidance that we provide to members. However, as with all regulation visits, there were areas where OPBAS considered that the IPA can make amendments to ensure that our regulation and enforcement actions are more robust. The IPA welcomes the report from OPBAS and looks forward to working closely with OPBAS in the future.

The IPA will shortly be publishing an updated risk assessment in relation to insolvency and areas where the IPA perceives there to be a greater risk of money laundering in insolvency and advice work. This guidance will be published on the AML hub on the IPA website, as well as the newsletter. When it is out, we strongly urge members to review the guidance and consider the risk areas as they impact on your own work. Members will be aware of the firm risk assessment as required under Reg. 18 of the 2017 Money Laundering Regulations, and you should ensure that consideration is made not only to the types of cases taken (i.e. CVL, IVA etc.), but also to what work the business in question carried out. Were they property dealers? Was the business cash intensive? Is funding for major asset purchases clear?

Members will also see a change in how the IPA deals with AML inspections. The IPA will carry out AML visits where there may be a perceived higher risk in relation to AML matters. We will also undertake AML compliance reviews, which will be off-site and look at policies, procedures, training records, SARS etc., to review effectiveness and robustness of policies. You can expect that cases will be reviewed where there is an increased risk of money laundering to check how heightened risks are managed. Naturally, AML will also remain a feature of full visits by the Inspection team. We continue to expect to see case risk assessments that are subject to regular review and clear Customer Due Diligence (CDD)/Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) evidence on file.

The IPA is looking at how we enforce any breaches of AML regulation, and we are drafting AML Sanctions Guidance to deal with specific breaches of AML regulation. We will advise further on this when the guidance has been finalised and is ready to roll out.

Finally, we will be publishing case studies of matters found on inspection visits and reviews where there was no formal finding against a member, but which will highlight a matter which may assist with reviews and updates to your AML risk assessment, policies and procedures.