Anonymised Anti-Money Laundering (AML) case studies, to assist members in reviewing AML policies and procedures, are available on our enforcement notices page – click here.

Anti-Money Laundering Hub

Welcome to the Anti-Money Laundering Hub, the section of the IPA website dedicated to our Anti-Money Laundering (AML) role.

Anti-Money Laundering Annual Report

Click here to download our Anti-Money Laundering Annual Report.

Anti-Money Laundering Sector Risk Assessment

Click here to download our Anti-Money Laundering Sector Risk Assessment.

Anti-Money Laundering Strategy

Click here to download our Anti-Money Laundering Strategy.

Anti-Money Laundering Guide for Members

Click here to download our Anti-Money Laundering Guide for Members.

Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Checklist for Members

Click here to download our Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Checklist for Members.

Anti-Money Laundering

The 2017 Money Laundering Regulations introduced the concept of the Professional Body Supervisor (PBS), which is responsible for supervising its members on compliance with the 2017 regulations. The IPA is a listed PBS and has increased responsibility for the monitoring and review of its members’ compliance with the regulations in their insolvency and advisory work. 

The IPA participates in external committees on Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and supports the Government’s Flag It Up campaign to raise awareness of money laundering. The IPA has a dedicated page on its website dealing with money laundering, which includes information and guidance to members and the public, and a helpline email where questions and concerns can be raised anonymously and in confidence.

Anti-Money Laundering Regulation

The 2017 Money Laundering Regulations introduced new requirements to tackle money laundering, replacing the 2007 Money Laundering Regulations. The regulations (including subsequent amendments and changes resulting from Brexit) require all individuals that provide insolvency services to be supervised for compliance with the regulations by a supervisory authority; the IPA is recognised as a supervisory authority for supervising the compliance of IPA members. The regulations mean that any insolvency practitioner (IP) who is involved with money laundering, even if accidentally, can possibly lose their licence, receive a fine or face criminal prosecution. 

It is therefore vital that IPA members are aware of the importance of reporting concerns around money laundering as soon as they might come across them, including submitting Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs). To help members comply with the regulations, the IPA has produced information and guidance (see below). The IPA will be publishing further information and guidance shortly.   

The IPA is also delighted to work with the Home Office and National Crime Agency (NCA) to support the Flag It Up money laundering campaign to promote best practice in AML compliance and reporting suspicious activity.

Should an IPA member have any questions regarding AML compliance, please contact us via [email protected]

Information and guidance

Accountancy AML Supervisors’ Group risk outlook

The Accountancy AML Supervisors’ Group (AASG) has set out in its guidance the key risks and red flag indicators the AASG considers are relevant to the accountancy sector. The AASG will update this guidance on a regular basis, reflecting the UK’s National Risk Assessment and other emerging threats and trends.

Firms should regularly review this risk outlook to make sure they have identified all the areas relevant to their own business – particularly as the risk may evolve because of changes to the firm’s client base, geography and services provided.

New guidance on Defence Against Money Laundering Requests

The IPA, along with the other Insolvency Recognised Professional Bodies (RPBs) and R3, has agreed new guidance with the National Crime Agency (NCA) where an urgent Defence Against Money Laundering (DAML) request is required.

Please note that this guidance must only be used where there is a genuine urgency in the request for a DAML. This would be on an urgent appointment (for example a bank where they consider there is some fraud or a HMRC appointment with a suspicion of tax fraud) or where urgent payments are required to be made on appointment to enable trading to continue but there is a suspicion that there is criminal property identified or suspected.

The guidance can be found here.

Agile money laundering personas

The National Risk assessment for 2020 highlights that ‘There continues to be a risk that criminals will exploit company liquidation and associated services (including insolvency practice, which may be conducted by certain accountancy professionals) to mask the audit trail of money laundered through a company.’ Insolvency Practitioners should be aware of the constantly evolving risks of money laundering and terrorist financing. We have published some examples in the form of entirely fictional characters created to represent the types of potential money laundering threats the insolvency profession might face from potential clients prior to and during appointments. Read these examples here.

Anti-Money Laundering Case Studies

We have prepared some anonymised case studies that are examples of non-compliance with the 2017 Money Laundering Regulations by members, which did not result in a financial or non-financial penalty being levied against a member. These examples arose either from inspection visits or complaints, where the issue was dealt with via an Advisory Notice, which requires a member to take remedial action to correct, amend or update an Anti-Money Laundering policy or procedure, or from where a matter was considered by the IPA’s Regulation & Conduct Committee (R&CC) and the R&CC considered that no penalty was to be applied.

Click here to view the case studies.

National Crime Agency guidance on submitting better quality Suspicious Activity Reports

We highly recommend that you read the National Crime Agency (NCA) guidance on completing better quality SARs. Click here to read the guidance.

Anti-Money Laundering Covid-19 information

Criminals are trying to use the Covid-19 pandemic to their advantage. This section of our website features AML information relating to Covid-19 for those involved in the SARs regime. Please note that this page is for IPA members only. You can access it here.

5th Money Laundering Directive Guidance 

The 5th Money Laundering Directive (5MLD) was enacted on 10 January 2020. It was introduced by the EU in response to changes in how terrorists operate, the publication of the Panama Papers, the use of offshore accounts and the increased use of crypto-currencies and other digital currencies for the purposes of money laundering.

A link to the 5MLD regulations can be found here. We have also produced an overview, which is available here.

Whistleblowing Guidance

IPs have a duty under Statement of Insolvency Practice 1 (SIP 1) to report any IP who is not complying, or has not complied with, any relevant laws and regulations to the Complaints Gateway or to their relevant Recognised Professional Body (RPB) (p4 of SIP 1).  IPs also have a duty to report IPs who are not complying, or have not complied with, or have allegedly breached AML regulations, and the IPA acts as a Professional Body Supervisor (PBS) under the Money Laundering Regulations. 

The IPA’s updated policy on whistleblowing can be found here.

2018 Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies guidance

The Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies (CCAB)* launched its first Economic Crime Manifesto in 2016 with the key aim to improve the effectiveness and capabilities of AML in the UK. Further details of the CCAB economic crime manifesto and guidance can be found here. The initial guidance is based on the law and regulations as of 26 June 2017 and was adopted by the IPA in 2018 along with the subsequent draft Appendix- guidance for Insolvency practitioners. It covers the prevention of money laundering and the countering of terrorist financing. It is intended to be read by anyone who provides audit, accountancy, tax advisory, insolvency or trust and company services in the United Kingdom and has been approved and adopted by the IPA.

Guidance is provided on: taking a risk based approach; carrying out customer due diligence; SARs reporting; record keeping; training and awareness.

The initial guidance has been updated and the draft guidance from 8 September 2020 is available here. The guidance covers the changes to the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Regulations 2017, introduced as a result of the implementation of the 5th Money Laundering Directive (5MLD). The new legislation came into force on 10 January 2020. The draft guidance is pending approval from HM Treasury, but we would expect our supervised members to follow this guidance. Members who are supervised by another supervisory authority will need to take account of the guidance issued by that authority.

*CCAB has five members – ICAEW, ACCA, CIPFA, ICAS and Chartered Accountants Ireland – and provides a forum for the bodies to work together collectively in the public interest on matters affecting the profession and the wider economy.

IT Security Policy

This policy deals with security of data and protection of data and information by the IPA. The IPA has recently updated this policy, which continues to allow for the anonymity of whistleblowers to be retained and for the IPA to meet its obligations as a PBS under the 2017 Money Laundering Regulations.

Tax evasion and fraud

Should members have concerns about tax fraud and evasion, please visit HMRC’s website here or call their fraud hotline on 0800 788 887.

Anti-Money Laundering Complaints Policy

As a supervisory body, the IPA is required to consider complaints under the Money Laundering Regulations. The IPA’s policy for AML complaints can be found here. This policy is in addition to the IPA’s complaints policy for insolvency complaints, which can be located on our website on the Complaints Guidance page.

Members can also write to us anonymously with any complaints about AML issues via [email protected]

Conflicts Policy

Any member of an IPA committee (who is an IPA member representative or a lay member), or acts in relation to any matter that related to, or arises from, committee work is required to consider if they have any conflict in relation to any business that the relevant committee will be dealing with. A conflict not only covers the considerations in relation to insolvency matters, but also in relation to AML issues. A copy of the Conflicts Policy can be found here, and each committee member – and any new committee members – will be asked to sign a copy of the policy.