New Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation enforcement powers

As members should know, the Treasury’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) can impose penalties for serious financial sanctions breaches. These can be the higher of £1m or 50% of the infringement.

Implemented on 15th June 2022, OFSI is now able to impose civil monetary penalties on a strict civil liability basis, meaning that the previous requirement for OFSI to prove that a person had knowledge or reasonable cause to suspect that they were in breach of financial sanctions will be removed, but OFSI will still hold the burden of proof to establish that there was a breach of financial sanctions prohibitions. The maximum prison sentence for breaching the sanctions regime has also increased to seven years.

Along with the penalties having increased, so have the risks (looking to Russian sanctions and the UK’s continually growing sanctions list). Members therefore need to be even more vigilant when accepting cases and particularly when making distributions.

View guidance on OFSI enforcement and monetary penalties for
breaches of financial sanctions here.