Law Society Warns Firms Around 5AMLD Changes

With just three weeks to go until the Fifth Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) will be introduced, The Law Society are making firms aware of the small window of time in which firms need to assess and adjust to the changes to the 5AMLD.

Recently, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) experts urged the Government to take immediate action to publish the final regulations.

The Fifth EU Money Laundering Directive (5EMLD) came into force in July 2018 with a requirement on all Member States to transfer the Directive into domestic law by 10 January 2020.

In April 2019, The UK Government discussed how they were going to meet the obligations and consulted on the proposals for the transposition of the 5EMLD, but political, economic and Brexit uncertainty caused delay – and the Government did not respond to the consultation before the dissolution of parliament and the beginning of the ‘purdah’ period.

As purdah has elapsed, subject to the parliamentary calendar, the new government is believed to go ahead with the transposition as a matter of urgency.

Until the text of the regulations is released there is uncertainty surrounding issues raised in the consultation.

However, firms need to be preparing ahead of the transposition deadline of 10th January 2020 and the Legal Sector Affinity Group, of which the Law Society are a member, will circulate guidance in the interim period, as a matter of urgency, as soon as the text of the legislative changes is confirmed.

The changes that firms should expect to the current AML framework will be to customer due diligence, enhanced due diligence and transparency of beneficial ownership. For more details on the changes click here.

With 5AMLD coming into force when we enter a new decade, superseding the Money Laundering Regulations from 2017, compliance professionals address what it will mean for legal practitioners.

The Law society are unsure as to whether the incoming Government will meet the 10th January deadline but remain firm on the fact that they anticipate a narrow window for firms to ready themselves for the introduction of 5AMLD.

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