HMT ADVISORY NOTICE ON MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORIST FINANCING CONTROLS IN OVERSEAS JURISDICTIONS

HM Treasury has published an advisory notice on money laundering and terrorist financing controls in overseas jurisdictions. The notice has been published in response to statements published by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on 24 October identifying jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regimes. This advice notice replaces all previous advisory notices issued by HM Treasury on the subject.

SFO – SPEECH BY STUART ALFORD QC

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has published a speech delivered by Stuart Alford QC, Joint Head of Fraud at the SFO, to the Anti-Corruption in Oil & Gas Conference 2014 on enforcing the UK Bribery Act. In his speech, Mr Alford QC discussed the role of the SFO generally and in relation to prosecutions under the Bribery Act. Mr Alford QC addressed the question of the relatively limited enforcement of the Bribery Act to date, noting the reasons for this and emphasising that "you will start to see an increase in the number of prosecutions: both from the SFO and other agencies". He also discussed the introduction of the Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs) in February this year and the SFO's views on the waiver of legal professional privilege in the context of self-reporting and "cooperation" with the SFO.

SFO CHARGES FORMER TULLET PREBON EMPLOYEE AS PART OF LIBOR INVESTIGATION

The SFO has issued criminal proceedings against a former employee of Tullett Prebon Group Ltd in connection with the manipulation of LIBOR.

TESCO INVESTIGATION

The SFO has opened a formal criminal investigation into accounting practices at Tesco plc.  As a result of the SFO’s intervention, the Financial Conduct Authority will halt its own investigation into Tesco.

FURTHER CHARGE IN LIBOR INVESTIGATION

The SFO has issued criminal proceedings against a former employee of Tullett Prebon Group  Ltd in connection  with the manipulation of LIBOR between 1 February 2009 and 3 December 2009. The first criminal conviction in the UK, arising from the Serious Fraud Office's LIBOR investigation, was entered on 3 October 2014.

THREE CONVICTED IN JJB TRIAL

Three individuals have been convicted at Southwark Crown Court in connection with the SFO's investigation into JJB Sports plc (JJB). Christopher Ronnie, a former Chief Executive of JJB failed to declare his interest in Fashion and Sport Ltd, a company that supplied stock to JJB. David Ball and David Barrington, the beneficial owners of Fashion and Sport Ltd were convicted of attempting to destroy evidence and mislead the SFO.  The defendants will  be sentenced on 12 December.

FATF: PRESIDENT’S SUMMARY OF OUTCOMES FROM THE EXPERTS’ MEETING ON CORRUPTION

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has published the President's summary of outcomes from the expert's meeting on corruption held on 18 October. The key objectives for this meeting were:

  • to discuss the FATF’s draft Guidance on Transparency and Beneficial Ownership; and
  • to build on the previous discussions between the FATF and the G20 on anti-corruption issues, with a particular focus on measures to combat the misuse of corporate vehicles.

OUTCOMES OF THE FATF PLENARY MEETING

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has published the outcomesof its plenary meeting which was held in Paris on 22-24 October. The FATF identified the following jurisdictions that have strategic deficiencies in anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) for which a call for action applies:

  • Iran;
  • Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK);
  • Algeria;
  • Ecuador;
  • Indonesia; and
  • Myanmar.

The FATF also published information on jurisdictions which have strategic AML/CFT deficiencies for which they have developed an action plan with the FATF.

Separately, the FATF published guidance for a risk based approach for the banking sector and guidance on transparency and beneficial ownership.

EU EXTENDS SANCTIONS AGAINST SYRIA, AMENDS SANCTIONS AGAINST LIBYA AND SOMALIA; FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS RELATING TO UKRAINE/RUSSIA

Our latest e-bulletin summarises recent developments in various international sanctions regimes.  At EU level these are relatively limited:

  • The EU has announced additional sanctions in respect of the situation in Syria, extending the designated persons list and announcing an imminent restriction on the export of jet fuel to Syria;
  • Minor amendments were also made to the EU sanctions against Libya and Somalia; and
  • The EU published two new sets of conclusions on the situation in Ukraine, but these do not discuss possible changes to the sanctions regime.

In the UK, a new Overseas Territories Order extends the current EU sanctions relating to Russia/Ukraine to the British Overseas Territories including the Cayman and British Virgin Islands.  Updated guidance on the Russia trade sanctions has been issued by the Export Control Organisation. 

Subsequently to this e-bulletin, the EU has published additional conclusions on Ukraine and an additional 13 individuals and five entities (all Ukrainian separatists) have been added to the asset freeze list on 29 November 2014.

In a further development on 5 December, the EU amended the scope of some elements of the existing sanctions on Russia. Our briefing on this development is available here.