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What is behind our AML legislation?

Anti-money laundering legislation in Great Britain has been formed from EU directives and recommendations from government. This page sets out the key influences that determine your anti-money laundering responsibilities.

The FATF recommendations 

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body. It sets standards and promotes effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating:

  • money laundering
  • terrorist financing
  • financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
  • other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.  

Endorsed by over 180 countries and recognised as the international standard FATF Recommendations set out a framework of measures which member countries should implement in order to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. 

They set out the essential measures that countries should have in place to:

  • identify risks, develop policies and provide domestic coordination
  • pursue money laundering, terrorist financing and the financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
  • apply preventative measures for the financial and other designated sectors
  • establish powers and responsibilities for competent authorities (investigative, law enforcement and supervisory authorities) and implement other institutional measures
  • enhance the transparency and availability of information to facilitate international cooperation.

FATF advocates countries tailoring these measures to their particular circumstances, taking into account their financial systems and legal, administrative and operational frameworks. 

The Financial Action Task Force’s public statements on high risk and non-cooperative jurisdictions

FATF guidance on the risk-based approach for casinos

The EU Directive

The EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (the EU Directive) sets out a framework which is designed to protect the European financial system against the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing and is, to a large extent, based on the international standards adopted by FATF.

EU member states are required to prohibit money laundering and to oblige the financial sector (and a wide range of financial institutions including casinos), to:

  • identify their customers
  • keep appropriate records
  • establish internal procedures to train staff and guard against money laundering
  • report any indications of money laundering. 

The Money Laundering Regulations 

The Regulations transpose the EU Directive into UK law, and ensure that adequate controls are in place within relevant businesses (including casinos) to prevent them from being used for money laundering or terrorist financing. 

The Regulations require relevant businesses to:

  • put in place procedures to verify the identity of customers on entering into a business relationship or transaction and to carry out ongoing monitoring during the business relationship
  • keep records obtained in establishing customers’ identities and of business relationships for five years
  • train employees in the relevant procedures and law
  • appoint a nominated officer whose role includes reporting to the NCA suspicions of money laundering activity
  • put in place and maintain policies and procedures to cover the requirements listed above.    

We are the supervisory authority for casinos. The Regulations stipulate that we must:

  • effectively monitor the relevant persons for whom it is the supervisory authority and take necessary measures for the purpose of securing compliance by such persons with the requirements of the Regulations
  • inform the NCA of instances where, in the course of carrying out its functions under the Regulations, it knows or suspects that a person is or has engaged in money laundering or terrorist financing.

The FATF Recommendations, the EU Directive and the Regulations support the adoption of a risk-based approach to combating money laundering and terrorist financing.  

Other useful information 

Transparency International publishes information on the corruption perceptions of all countries.

Know Your Country is a good source for information on specific country ratings, including those subject to sanctions.

A list of all financial restrictions currently in force in the UK is maintained by HM Treasury’s Asset Freezing Unit along with further information on financial restrictions: Consolidated list of targets.