The Solicitors Regulations Authority following a review of 59 practices providing trust and company services, has found that a number of law firms are not doing enough to prevent money laundering. The SRA said that there was no evidence of fraud or being involved in criminal activity but there were breaches of the 2017 Money Laundering Regulations.
A further review of 400 other firms has begun to check compliance with the regulations. This review will be carried out by a dedicated anti-money laundering unit to prevent and detect money laundering. There are approximately 7,000 SRA-regulated firms which must comply with the regulations.
Chief Executive of the SRA, Paul Philip, said: ‘Most solicitors take their responsibilities seriously, but too many firms are falling short. Those firms should be on notice that compliance is not optional. They need to improve swiftly. Where we have serious concerns that a firm could be enabling money laundering, we will take strong action.’
Redbrick Solutions provide Anti Money Laundering and ID checks and are all fully compliant with the FCA, HMRC and SRA and proof of ID can be accepted electronically via our secure portal. Checks can be performed against an individual with name, date of birth and address details. Passport, driving license and national insurance details can also be added for a more comprehensive search but are not compulsory.
For Company business reports the checks include: Statutory information, Directory information, Risk information, Ownership details, Major Shareholders, Summary of mortgages, charges and satisfactions, Profit & Loss Account, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow, Accounts Notes, Ratios, Growth Rates, Company/Industry Comparisons, Filing History and Director information.
Redbrick Solutions stores all results electronically against the client, meeting the requirement to store results for a minimum of 5 years. Results are accessible at any time without the need to call up a file from storage.
Redbrick Case Management also enables firms to run compliance reports e.g for matters that have not completed or failed anti-money laundering checks. These reports can be set to run automatically in the background and delivered via email to a nominated person at selected intervals.