According to a senior regulator, most professional bodies for accountants and lawyers in Britain are failing to ensure that members do all they can to help in the fight against money laundering.
The Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS) was set up in January 2018 to support Britain’s efforts to keep its financial system clean.
A review of OPBAS’s first year found that professional bodies were not always focused on strongly supervising standards among members.
Director of specialist supervision at the Financial Conduct Authority and responsibility for the review, Alison Barker, was highly critical of the professional bodies’ anti-money laundering efforts. She said it was found that some did not fully understand their role as an anti-money laundering supervisor.
She added that accountants and other professional bodies did not believe there was money laundering in their sector, and thought that members would leave the professional bodies if they came under scrutiny.