HMRC UPDATED ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING GUIDANCE FOR MONEY SERVICE BUSINESSES

HM Treasury has approved HMRC's updated anti money laundering guidance. The updated guidance is designed to assist businesses to meet their obligations under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007. Guidance approved by HM Treasury must be taken into account by a court when considering whether there has been an offence under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007, or sections 330 or 330g of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, and therefore has quasi-formal status. HMRC is the AML regulator for certain money businesses, trust and company service providers, high value dealers, and accountancy services providers, and the guidance is therefore principally of relevance to these sectors.

UK DECIDES NOT TO ADOPT US-STYLE WHISTLEBLOWER REWARDS

The FCA has announced that it will not adopt incentives for whistleblowers similar to those in the United States, but will help businesses improve their internal reporting and whistleblower protections. The announcement follows a review triggered in part by the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee on Banking Standards (PCBS). The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bank of England Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) both agree, however, that strong measures are needed to encourage and protect whistleblowers, who can play an important role in helping protect the safety and soundness of firms and to prevent and detect wrongdoing. The FCA and PRA will publish proposals later this year that address how to improve whistleblowing regimes within firms.

BRUCE HALL £3 MILLION CONFISCATION ORDER PAID IN FULL

The UK Serious Fraud Office has announced that the £3 million confiscation order imposed against former Alba chief Bruce Hall has been fully paid. Mr Hall was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment for conspiracy to corrupt on 22 July 2014 and was ordered to pay a confiscation order of £3,070,106.03 or face spending an additional term of imprisonment of 10 years. The SFO said Mr Hall also paid in full a compensation order of £500,010 to Alba and a further £100,000 as a contribution to prosecution costs.

INNOSPEC EXECUTIVES SENTENCED IN CORRUPTION CASE

Four former executives of Innospec Ltd have been sentenced in a London court for their roles in a long-running corruption scheme involving bribing state officials in Indonesia and Iraq. Dennis Kerrison received four years in prison after being convicted at trial. Paul Jennings, another former CEO, was sentenced to two years imprisonment. In addition, Miltiades Papachristos, a former Innospec regional sales director, received an 18-month sentence following a conviction at trial and David Turner, a former business unit director, received a suspended sentence of 16 months after his 2012 guilty plea.

JMLSG CONSULTS ON AMENDMENTS TO GUIDANCE

The Joint Money Laundering Steering Group has published for comment proposed amendments to its Money Laundering Guidance for the Financial Sector. The aim of the amendments is to make the Guidance clearer, particularly in the areas of risk assessment and monitoring the effectiveness of systems and controls. The JMLSG has confirmed that the proposed amendments do not seek to anticipate any changes required as a result of the implementation of MLD 4, but do include some contextual material from the new FATF documentation relating to the risk-based approach. Comments should be received by 15 September 2014.

UKRAINE SANCTIONS UPDATE – RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN UK, EU AND US

The UK's Export Control Organisation (ECO) has published FAQs on the EU's trade sanctions on Russia. The EU Foreign Affairs Council has delivered futher conclusions on Ukraine following a meeting in Brussels on 15 August 2014. In the US, OFAC has issued revised guidance and FAQs in relation to the "50% rule" regarding entities owned by designated persons. For further information, see our most recent sanctions update available here.

FURTHER EU RESTRICTIVE MEASURES AGAINST RUSSIA

The EU has adopted a package of further restrictive measures against Russia. The sanctions aim at promoting a change of course in Russia's actions destabilising eastern Ukraine. The sanctions will apply following their publication in the Official Journal. Depending on the implementation of the cease-fire agreement and the peace plan the EU will review the agreed sanctions in whole or in part.