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Financial crime prevention
Nothing in draft TCA stopping UK becoming ‘Singapore on Thames’ say Greens MEPs
In a letter to the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, and Chief Brexit Negotiator, Michel Barnier, two Greens MEPs have highlighted the lack of appropriate anti-money laundering rules (AML) in the UK-EU Trade Cooperation Agreement (TCA). Philippe Lamberts MEP and Sven Giegold MEP outline how ‘the rules in the draft agreement on money laundering and terrorist financing repeat and freeze some of the major shortcomings of the EU’s current anti-money laundering rules’, recognising that current EU AML rules are ‘inadequate’. In the letter, Lamberts and Giegold detail how the missing ‘regulatory alignment’ is ‘deeply concerning’, with apprehensions that the omission may well influence investment decisions. They concede that, despite the limited benefits for the UK in the TCA, there is nothing in the draft agreement stopping the UK from becoming a ‘Singapore on Thames’ in terms of taxation and AML policies.
See: LNB News 07/01/2021 52.
OFSI updates counter-terrorism licensing policy
The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) has revoked three general counter-terrorism licences relating to the provision of insurance and the payment of legal fees by third parties, which may no longer be used, and replaced the general licence relating to legal aid. OFSI advises that future applications relating to insurance policies and the payment of legal fees by third parties will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, and where payment is no longer covered by a general licence, applicants should contact HM Treasury to apply for an individual licence.
See: LNB News 11/01/2021 84.
UK implements new business measures over human rights violations in Xinjiang
The Foreign Secretary has announced a set of business measures to prevent British organisations from being complicit or profiting from the human rights abuses in Xinjiang. Following supported research that built the evidence base for action, the government has brought in a review of export controls from the UK, including the introduction of financial penalties for businesses that fail to adhere to their statutory obligations to publish modern slavery statements, in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015. The due diligence measures are set to ensure UK businesses and their supply chains will not be involved in forced labour, nor British consumers unintentionally buying products that support the gross violation of human rights in Xinjiang. The government will produce guidance to UK businesses which sets out the particular risks encountered by companies with links to Xinjiang and outlining the ‘challenges of effective due diligence there’. Compliance is said to be compulsory for ‘central government, non-departmental bodies and executive agencies’.
See: LNB News 13/01/2021 57.
Law must change to go after companies allowing financial crime, MPs urge
MLex: Companies must be more easily prosecuted for failing to prevent economic crime, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Anti-Corruption and Responsible Tax have urged, beyond current legislation that only punishes failures to prevent bribery or tax evasion. A proposed amendment to the Financial Services Bill, debated in Parliament on 13 January 2021, seeks to toughen the regime.
See News Analysis: Law must change to go after companies allowing financial crime, MPs urge.
ICO updates FAQs on information rights following Brexit transition period
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published updated FAQs on information rights following the end of the Brexit implementation/transition period.
See: LNB News 08/01/2021 20.
ICO prosecutes motor industry employee for data privacy breaches
The ICO has secured the sentencing of a motor insurance employee to eight months’ imprisonment (suspended for two years). RAC employee Kim Doyle transferred personal data to an accident claims management firm without authorisation. Doyle pleaded guilty to conspiracy to secure unauthorised access to computer data and to selling unlawfully obtained personal data pursuant to section 1 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990. This was the ICO’s second prosecution under the Computer Misuse Act 1990.
See: LNB News 11/01/2021 6.
Lexis®PSL Risk & Compliance has a dedicated area on the Key Resources section of the home page that tracks interesting and important cases, legislation, consultations and other key developments in the world of risk and compliance. For more information, see: Risk & Compliance forecast as at 15 December 2020.
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