Anti Money Laundering Policy 2021 to 2022

1. Introduction

This policy will be reviewed June 2022

1.1 On 10 January 2020 changes to the Government's Money Laundering Regulations (MLRs) came into force. The changes update the UK's Anti Money Laundering regime to incorporate international standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The 2019 Regulations amend:

1.2 As an overview, the changes incorporate the requirement to:

  • keep an up to date list of exact functions that qualify as prominent public functions
  • the requirement on enhanced due diligence when working with high risk countries
  • the requirement to maintain registers of beneficial owners
  • a reduced limit of pre-paid cards and electronic money
  • enhanced due diligence on virtual currencies, crypto currencies, digital tokens
  • letting agency activities to be brought within the scope of Anti Money Laundering

1.3 A key difference is the 5th Money Laundering Directive brings additional businesses into the scope of the anti money laundering regulatory framework. Described as “obliged entities” in the 4th Money Laundering Directive, these are defined as “relevant persons” in the MLRs and as businesses in the “regulated sector” in the Terrorism Act 2000 and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The requirements of the 5th Money Laundering Directive do not allow for the exemption of small businesses or any exemptions based on size.

1.4 In identifying ownership, the 2019 Regulations introduces an explicit Customer Due Diligence (CDD) requirement for relevant persons to take reasonable measures to understand the ownership and control structure of their customers. Relevant persons must also take reasonable measures to verify the identity of senior managing officials when the beneficial owner of a body corporate cannot be identified.

1.5 Although Anti Money Laundering legislation does not specifically cover local authorities as defined by organisations in the regulatory sector, it is implied best practice that we assess the risk and put sufficient controls in place to prevent the Council from being used for money laundering.

1.6 We are also required to:

  • assess the risk of Buckinghamshire Council being used by criminals to launder money
  • check the identity of our customers
  • check the identity of ‘beneficial owners’ of corporate bodies and partnerships
  • monitor our customers’ business activities and report anything suspicious to the National Crime Agency (NCA)
  • make sure we have the necessary management control systems in place; keep all documents that relate to financial transactions, the identity of our customers, risk assessment and management procedures and processes
  • make sure our employees are aware of the regulations and have had the necessary training
  • relevant persons must have policies to ensure they undertake risk assessments prior to the launch or use of new products or business practices, as well as new technologies