On 18 June 2019, the England and Wales Law Commission published a report regarding the UK’s anti-money laundering (“AML”) framework (the “Report”). The Report follows a two-year consultation project aimed at improving the prevention, detection, and prosecution of money laundering and terrorism financing in the UK, and forms part of a much broader picture of reform of the AML framework. This includes, in particular, the announcement in January 2019 of a new UK Cabinet taskforce – the Economic Crime Strategic Board – to set priorities and direct resources pursuant to the UK Government’s Serious and Organised Crime Strategy, and publication of a House of Commons Treasury Committee’s report on Economic Crime (March 2019), and the government’s response (May 2019).
The Report makes 19 recommendations, principally concerning the suspicious activity report (“SAR”) regime under Part 7 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. This alert highlights some key features of the Report’s findings and recommendations, and outlines the impact they may have on existing practices and the general direction of travel for the UK’s legislative framework on financial crime.