1. Introduction

1. Introduction

The UK financial system is a major global hub which attracts investment from across the world. However, its size and openness also make it attractive to criminals seeking to hide the proceeds of crime among the huge volumes of legitimate business.

The FCA has a key role in ensuring that firms have adequate safeguards to prevent themselves from being used for financial crime, in particular money laundering. That is why we made financial crime one of our strategic priorities in 2015/16, and are making it one of our top seven priorities again in 2016/17. At the same time, it is important we ensure that firms’ financial crime controls are proportionate and operated efficiently, and that any unintended consequences are kept to a minimum.

In this, the FCA’s third anti-money laundering report, we explain how we have sought to achieve these objectives in the last year. We cover:

  • developments in our anti-money laundering (AML) supervision strategy
  • findings and outcomes from our recent specialist supervision work
  • policy developments in the last year
  • independent assessments of our AML supervision
  • how we cooperate with our partners both at home and overseas

In April 2016 there was widespread reporting of a range of allegations, including money laundering, in relation to the dealings of the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca. We are part of the Government’s taskforce, jointly led by HM Revenue and Customs and the National Crime Agency, investigating any evidence of economic crime, regulatory breaches or tax evasion or avoidance which may have taken place. As of June 2016, the taskforce is still in its early stages. It will report in due course to the Chancellor and the Home Secretary.