CIPFA Counter Fraud Centre backs anti-money laundering awareness campaign

10-11-2015

CIPFA Counter Fraud Centre is pleased to support the launch of two new important guides from the CCAB’s Anti-Money Laundering Taskforce.  The guides, CCAB Guidance Accountants and Counter Terrorist Financing and CCAB Guidance Money Laundering Regulations, highlight typical indicators of money laundering and terrorist financing which accountants and finance professionals need to be aware of. 

“Accountants and finance professionals sit on the frontline when it comes to battling money laundering and terrorist financing”, said Rachael Tiffen, Head of Counter Fraud at CIPFA.  She added, “They play a pivotal role in the early detection of behaviours and transactions which may otherwise go under the radar.”

Smaller amounts of funding, or so called ‘low level or low risk’ activities, are frequently used to finance crime and terrorism.  Methods of moving money are usually quick and simple, and include use of cash mules, pre-paid gift cards, pre-paid credit cards and diversion of funds.  For this reason, advises the Taskforce, accountants need to conduct due diligence with their clients.  

Warning signs to watch for include:-
Unusual business activity
Being unable to ascertain sources of funds
Transfers of money where there is no apparent business relationships
Sending or receiving funds by international transfers to/from locations of concern – keep an eye on HM Treasury sanctions list for high risk jurisdictions
Wire transfers following cash deposits
Negative media coverage about the client/company.

Importantly the launch of the Guides coincides with a recent report from Transparency International, which brings to light the lack of powers currently available to law enforcement agencies to stop corrupt money being laundered through the UK.  This report was issued on the back of the Government’s delayed review into the UK’s Anti Money Laundering regime.  “Now, more than ever”, explains Rachael Tiffen, “public sector accountants and finance professionals need to be vigilant.  Early detection and notification of money laundering makes a much larger impact on terrorism than many people are aware of.  Accountants are often privy to a great deal of confidential information from clients, such as future and existing revenue streams.  They are therefore best placed to flag concerns.”

CIPFA Counter Fraud Centre provides expert advice and training to public sector organisations, finance professionals and accountants.  For further information and assistance contact 0207 543 5600 or visit www.cipfa.org/counterfraudcentre.

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Notes to editors

CCAB is the collective forum of accountancy bodies ICAEW, ACCA, ICAS, CIPFA and Chartered Accountants Ireland.  
CIPFA is one of the five CCAB member bodies, and CIPFA is committed to supporting CCAB by sharing guidance with as many members as possible.