The Government established OPBAS as part of its reforms to strengthen the UK's anti-money laundering (AML) supervisory regime. OPBAS supervises the 25 professional body supervisors in the legal and accountancy sectors.
OPBAS is housed within the FCA and its key objectives are to reduce the harm of money laundering and terrorist financing by:
- Ensuring a robust and consistently high standard of supervision by the professional body AML supervisors (PBSs) overseeing the legal and accountancy sectors.
- Facilitating collaboration and information and intelligence sharing between PBSs, statutory supervisors and law enforcement agencies.
The OPBAS sourcebook provides guidance for professional body AML supervisors on how they can meet their obligations:
If you get an email, letter or phone call from someone claiming to work for us, it’s important you consider the possibility that it could be scam. Find out more about fake OPBAS/FCA emails.
If you have any questions, please email [email protected].
Professional body supervisors
OPBAS oversees the following 25 legal and accountancy professional body supervisors:
|Association of Accounting Technicians||Chartered Institute of Legal Executives/ CILEx Regulation|
|Association of Chartered Certified Accountants||Council for Licensed Conveyancers|
|Association of International Accountants||Faculty of Advocates|
|Association of Taxation Technicians||Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury|
|Chartered Institute of Management Accountants||General Council of the Bar / Bar Standards Board|
|Chartered Institute of Taxation||General Council of the Bar of Northern Ireland|
|Institute of Certified Bookkeepers||Law Society / Solicitors Regulation Authority|
|Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales||Law Society of Northern Ireland|
|Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland||Law Society of Scotland|
|Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland|
|Institute of Financial Accountants|
|International Association of Bookkeepers|
|Insolvency Practitioners Association|
OPBAS does not supervise:
- members of professional bodies, such as firms, accountants and solicitors, or any other type of business subject to the requirements of the MLRs
- statutory anti-money laundering supervisors such as the Gambling Commission and HM Revenue and Customs
- activity carried out by professional body supervisors outside the UK
- the adequacy of any functions performed by professional body supervisors unrelated to AML supervision, including any oversight of their members’ controls over other types of financial crime, such as those related to the prevention of fraud, improving data security and the implementation of financial sanctions and asset freezes
Becoming a professional body supervisor
OPBAS will consider whether the relevant entity meets the standards expected of AML supervisors set out in the MLRs, and will recommend to the Treasury whether the legislation should be amended to assign a formal role for the entity.
For the background to OPBAS and further information, refer to our past publications and other resources: