Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS)
A new watchdog, the Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS), which has oversight of the 22 anti-money laundering (AML) supervisors in accountancy and law, officially began work in February as part of the government’s commitment to reforming the AML supervisory regime
OPBAS, which is based within the Financial Conduct Authority and is tasked with strengthening the UK’s defences against money laundering and terrorist financing, launched on 18 January.
Its objective is to work with AML supervisors to help improve standards, and with law enforcement to strengthen cooperation. It will ensure all the professional body AML supervisors meet the standards set out in the money laundering regulations 2017, and has powers to investigate and penalise those that do not.
John Glen, economic secretary to the Treasury, said: ‘This new watchdog will deepen the government’s partnership with the private sector as we work together to tackle illicit finance whilst minimising the burdens on legitimate businesses. This sends a clear message to criminals and terrorists that their dirty money is not welcome here.’
The oversight of professional body anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing supervision regulations 2017, which underpin OPBAS, took effect on 18 January. OPBAS will not directly monitor the businesses that the professional bodies supervise.
Reproduced from Croner-i