Understanding AML Compliance: What It Means for Your Business and the Latest Updates


As an accounting firm dedicated to supporting businesses in the UK, JW Hinks Accountants understands the complexities and necessities of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance. Ensuring your business adheres to AML regulations is not just a legal requirement but also a critical component in maintaining your business’s integrity and reputation. Here, we break down what AML compliance entails and provide you with the latest updates that might impact your operations.

 What is AML Compliance?

Anti-Money Laundering (AML) refers to the laws, regulations, and procedures implemented to prevent criminals from disguising illegally obtained funds as legitimate income. These regulations are crucial in detecting and reporting suspicious activities that could be linked to money laundering, terrorism financing, and other financial crimes.

For businesses, particularly those in the financial and professional services sectors, AML compliance involves:

Customer Due Diligence (CDD): Verifying the identity of your clients to ensure they are who they claim to be. This includes gathering information about their business activities and risk profiles.
Ongoing Monitoring: Continuously monitoring transactions and business relationships to detect and report suspicious activities.
Record Keeping: Maintaining records of CDD information and transactions for a specified period, typically five years.
Reporting: Submitting Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) to the National Crime Agency (NCA) when there are indications of potential money laundering activities.
Training and Awareness: Ensuring all staff are trained on AML regulations and the internal policies of your business.

Latest Updates 2024 in AML Compliance

In 2024, further advancements and regulatory updates have been introduced to strengthen AML compliance. Here are the latest developments:

1. Sixth Money Laundering Directive (6MLD)
The implementation of the Sixth Money Laundering Directive (6MLD) has brought several new requirements:
Extended Scope of Predicate Offences: Inclusion of new predicate offences such as cybercrime and environmental crime.
Tougher Penalties: Increased penalties for non-compliance, including higher fines and longer prison sentences for individuals found guilty of facilitating money laundering.
Corporate Liability: Enhanced focus on corporate liability, holding companies accountable for the actions of their employees and associates in money laundering cases.

2. Digital ID Systems
The UK government has endorsed the use of digital identity verification systems to improve CDD processes. These systems:
Enhanced Security: Utilise biometrics and other advanced technologies to verify identities more accurately and securely.
Efficiency: Streamline the onboarding process for new clients, reducing time and cost associated with traditional verification methods.

3. Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (ECCTA)
The introduction of the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (ECCTA) aims to bolster the UK’s efforts to combat economic crime.
Key aspects include:
Increased Corporate Transparency: Improved disclosure requirements for company ownership and control, making it harder for illicit actors to hide behind anonymous entities.
Strengthened Regulatory Powers: Enhanced powers for regulatory bodies to investigate and act against economic crime more effectively.
New Reporting Obligations: Mandates for businesses to report more detailed information on their activities and transactions, enhancing the overall monitoring and detection framework.

4. Companies House Involvement in ID Checks
Companies House will play a more prominent role in identity verification processes. This enhanced involvement aims to:
Strengthen CDD: Ensure more rigorous and reliable verification of individuals and entities.
Prevent Fraud: Reduce the risk of fraudulent activities by confirming the authenticity of information provided by businesses.
Enhance Transparency: Increase the transparency of business ownership and control to combat money laundering more effectively.

Staying compliant with AML regulations is essential for protecting your business from financial crime and ensuring its long-term success. At JW Hinks, we are committed to keeping our clients informed about the latest regulatory changes and helping them navigate the complexities of AML compliance. If you need assistance with AML compliance or have any questions about the recent updates, feel free to reach out to our expert team. Together, we can safeguard your business against the ever-evolving threats of financial crime.

Get in touch

JW Hinks LLP
19 Highfield Road, Edgbaston,
Birmingham B15 3BH

Phone: +44 (0) 121 456 0190
Fax: +44 (0) 121 456 0191
Email: info@jwhinks.co.uk