NCA has published its Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) Annual Report 2015. The report covers the first year of the UK Financial Intelligence Unit (UKFIU) working within the Economic Crime Command and to the published SARs regime strategy. Part one of the SARs report outlines key statistics from the reporting period October 2014 to September 2015. Part two focuses on how the UKFIU contributes to the UK’s response to money laundering, other serious and organised crime and terrorist financing through:

  • administering the consent regimes under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the Terrorism Act 2000;
  • liaising with international NCA equivalents through sharing intelligence, participating within the Egmont Group of FIUs, utilising the European FIU system and processing inbound and outbound requests for criminal asset tracing intelligence through the Camden Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network and the European Asset Recovery Office;
  • supporting law enforcement and government efforts to tackle terrorist financing through receipt, analysis and dissemination of SARs;
  • undertaking tactical analysis to identify SARs for fast-tracking to other law enforcement agencies, including those relating to subjects of law enforcement interest and where there are opportunities to protect  vulnerable people who are being exploited; and
  • strategic analysis of the SARs dataset to identify issues in the operation of the regime for highlighting to the sector and their supervisors, and identifying any significant typologies in the SARs dataset.

There has been little significant change in the overall volume of SARs, but NCA noted an increase in the percentage of consent SARs with a decrease in refusals. Some sectors have engaged more with reporting in the past year, but banks and building societies still account for nearly 90% of SARs. Turnaround time for responses averaged 4.7 days, with reasons for delay including complexity of cases and poor standards of information included with requests. (Source: NCA publishes SARs Annual Report 2015)