SmartSearch urges next government to publish AML regulations

The CEO of SmartSearch has written an open letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer urging the government in office after Thursday’s general election to publish the final anti-money-laundering (AML) regulations without further delay, with new EU rules due to be implemented next month.

SmartSearch, a leading UK provider of AML software, suggested this will give firms the certainty they need to prepare.

The EU’s Fifth Money Laundering Directive (5MLD) came into force in July 2018 with an obligation on all member states to transpose the directive into domestic law by 10 January 2020.

SmartSearch has said the new regulations will have a significant impact on Know Your Customer (KYC) and due diligence processes for lenders, brokers, estate agents and introducers.

The government consulted on how to meet the obligation in April earlier this year, but amidst increasing uncertainty over the UK’s relationship with the EU as well as the upcoming General Election, the publication of the final regulations has been held back.

SmartSearch CEO, John Dobson, commented: “Money laundering helps to finance some of the most serious criminal activity, from international drug cartels to people-trafficking and terrorism. Whoever is elected on Thursday has to get to grips with this issue fast.

“It is right that firms in affected sectors play a full part in tackling money laundering, but it is important also to recognise that this places a significant burden on businesses. The government should get on with publishing the new rules so that firms know where they stand.

“But businesses can’t afford to wait – there is already a very short timeframe between now and 10 January. They need to be taking action now to get ahead of the game and ensure they are fully compliant.”

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