In December 2015, the FCA published its quarterly consultation paper (CP15/42) asking firms to provide the number of suspicious activity reports (SARs) that they have filed annually with authorities. UK firms submit these reports to the National Crime Agency (NCA), without the FCA having access to this information. The FCA requested access to the SARs data in order to enhance supervision and regulate financial crime.
Banks will be the most affected firms, as, according to the latest NCA annual SARs report, they submit the majority of SARs reports compared to other firms.
Banks submitted 9% more suspicious activity reports in the 12 months to September 2015 than in the same period previously. The SARs from the banking sector reached 318,445, up from 291,055 submitted during the previous year, which amounts to 83% of all SARs submitted across sectors. In line with these efforts to combat financial crime, the FCA also requires information from firms on location of customers, high risk jurisdictions with which they do business, resources allocated to financial crime, sanctions and asset freezes, and views on the most prevalent types of fraud.