Risk & Compliance monthly highlights - June 2020

Risk & Compliance monthly highlights - June 2020

In this issue:

Crime prevention


GDPR & data protection

Crime prevention

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus has created new opportunities for all kinds of fraud (from investment fraud to bogus equipment sales to hackers impersonating software engineers) and companies must conduct investigations despite the challenges posed by remote working arrangements, says Azizur Rahman of Rahman Ravelli. See News Analysis: Pandemic brings new fraud risks for companies.

The coronavirus pandemic poses an unprecedented challenge for the criminal justice system in England and Wales. In particular, coronavirus is having a noticeable impact on UK enforcement agencies and their ability to progress a number of investigations. Quinton Newcomb, barrister and director, and Farheen Ishtiaq, solicitor, at Fulcrum Chambers, explore the conduct of ongoing criminal investigations during the coronavirus pandemic. See News Analysis: The conduct of ongoing criminal investigations during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

With much of the US on lockdown, many white collar cases and investigations have slowed considerably, but the coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic fallout are expected to bring about a wave of enforcement for activities such as price gouging and insider trading. See News Analysis: Coronavirus (COVID-19) crimes—US white collar cases to expect from the crisis.

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute has announced the formation of Business Against Scams (BAS), an initiative led by National Trading Standards and joined by more than 100 organisations set up to train employees and help them identify and prevent scams which they may be targets of as a result of working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic. BAS is providing free online training modules dealing with the most common scams involving businesses, such as government grants and tax refunds, requests to amend payment details, technological support and repair offers and impersonating a CEO, and also teaches employees how to avoid falling victims to such fraud. See: LNB News 14/05/2020 31.


Anti-bribery & corruption

The French Anti-Corruption Agency has published the analysis report of the global mapping of anti-corruption authorities, and has done so in partnership with the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption, the Organisation for Economic, Co-operation and Development, and the Network of Corruption Prevention Authorities. The project has collected 171 contributions from national authorities responsible for both fighting and preventing corruption, in 114 countries and territories. See: LNB News 27/05/2020 87.

Lisa Osofsky, the director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), discusses the aims of the organisation and the difficulties it faces, whilst defending its record in light of recent media criticism. See News Analysis: SFO director, Lisa Osofsky, sets out her goals and rebuts criticism.

The SFO has closed its investigation into the activities of ABB Ltd’s United Kingdom subsidiaries, officers, employees and agents. The investigation focused on suspected offences of bribery and corruption. The SFO concluded that this case did not meet the relevant test for prosecution as defined in the Code for Crown Prosecutors. See: LNB News 19/05/2020 49.

The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) published updated guidance within its Operational Handbook on the effectiveness of corporate compliance programmes in January 2020. See: LNB News 01/05/2020 40.




Coronavirus (COVID-19)

HMRC has published new guidance for businesses that are due to renew money laundering supervision with HMRC. Businesses could either take a payment deferral for 6 months from the date the fee is due or deregister if it stops trading due to coronavirus. See: LNB News 19/05/2020 76.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has published a paper identifying the challenges, good practices and policy responses towards new money laundering and terrorist financing threats and vulnerabilities arising from the coronavirus crisis. The ability of the government and private sector to implement anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing (AML/CFT) obligations has been significantly impacted by the pandemic observed the FATF. As such, the body has amassed policy responses from across the globe to help support the swift and effective implementation of measures to respond to AML/CFT risks brought about by the pandemic. Examples of responses include supporting electronic and digital payment options, encouraging the full use of a risk-based approach to customer due diligence, and strengthening communication with the private sector. See: LNB News 05/05/2020 70.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) has released the suspicious activity report (SAR) glossary codes for coronavirus related crimes during April 2020. The United Kingdom Financial Intelligence Unit (UKFIU) implemented three new SAR glossary codes for reporters as a direct result of the increased threat posed by criminals seeking to exploit the coronavirus outbreak. See: LNB News 04/05/2020 13.


The European Commission has sent letters urging eight Member States and the UK to fully transpose the Fifth Money Laundering Directive 2018/843 (5MLD), the deadline for which was 10 January 2020. As part of the Commission’s six-point plan to improve the EU’s fight against money laundering and terrorist financing, 5MLD must be implemented. If the Commission does not receive a ‘satisfactory response’ from Member States in four months, the Commission may send reasoned opinions. The Commission has also sent a letter of formal notice to Estonia ‘on the grounds that it incorrectly transposed’ the Fourth Money Laundering Directive 2015/849 (4MLD), despite the state’s notification of complete transposition on 14 January 2019. See: LNB News 14/05/2020 79.

Due diligence

The European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, has announced in a webinar that the European Commission will introduce a legislative initiative in 2021 on mandatory due diligence for companies. Members of the European Parliament and other stakeholders welcomed the announcement. The Commission is currently preparing a public consultation on sustainable corporate governance and due diligence, to inform the Commission’s legislative proposal. See: LNB News 30/04/2020 94.

Cross-border corporate information sharing

HM Treasury and the Home Office have published a statement to advise regulated entities on when it is acceptable to share information across borders. The government affirms the value of well-governed private sector information sharing, viewing it as an important tool in anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing measures. The guidance provides best practice measures to aid regulated entities to responsibly share data. The statement has been developed through public-private partnership, with representatives from the financial, legal and accountancy sectors, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the Financial Conduct Authority. See: LNB News 12/05/2020 35.



GDPR & data protection

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, has announced new priorities for UK data protection during the coronavirus period and beyond. The ICO detailed its regulatory approach for the pandemic period in April 2020. However, following close monitoring of current trends and in response to complaints or requests for support, it has decided to amend its priority list. The Commissioner explained that the Office has ‘looked ahead to assess where and how we should narrow our focus on the areas we can have the greatest impact to protect the public interest and support economic growth and innovation’. See: LNB News 05/05/2020 81.

The ICO has published further guidance for employers on testing employees for coronavirus. The guidance follows the government’s announcement on 10 May 2020 about returning to work, and its subsequent recovery plan published on 11 May 2020. The ICO’s guidance takes the form of a Q&A with vital information required for employers to safely and legally test their employees. See: LNB News 13/05/2020 80.

Lawful transfer of data

The Court of Justice has announced that its decision in Facebook Ireland and Schrems, Case C-311/18 (commonly known as Schrems II) will be delivered on 16 July 2020. See: LNB News 15/05/2020 58.


The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has adopted Guidelines 05/2020 on consent under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Regulation (EU) 2016/679. See: LNB News 06/05/2020 40.

Data breaches

The Supreme Court recently ruled that Morrison Supermarkets was not vicariously liable for a data breach committed maliciously by a former employee who disclosed employee payroll data online. See: LNB News 20/05/2020 41.


The Surveillance Camera Commissioner has published an updated version of the data protection impact assessment (DPIA) template. See: LNB News 22/05/2020 70.


The ICO has published co-badged guidance by the ICO and the Alan Turing Institute, which aims to give organisations practical advice to help explain the processes, services and decisions delivered or assisted by artificial intelligence, to the individuals affected by them. See: LNB News 21/05/2020 4.


Related Articles:
Latest Articles:
About the author:
Allison is a former partner of Shoosmiths, with extensive experience of legal management and practice compliance.