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Reduce Money Laundering Regulations Liability on Business Sector

Comment 10th August 2010

Tone down the level of scrutiny and burden in complying with money laundering regulations and/or reduce the level of punishment for regulated person unwittingly caught up in a money laundering operations and affect family life.

Why does this matter?

1. Regulated persons in the business sector are heavily weighed down when complying with money laundering regulations.

Sometimes the time spent complying with the regulations outweighs the value of work you are instructed to do and that is before you even commence the work! This reduces profitability, adds to red tape and takes up far too much time. It also creates a very awkward working relationship with your customer as you have to request various forms of ID, utility bills and bank statements. You then have to ask them where their money comes from which is extremely embarrassing to have to do.

2.Furthermore, the punishment for innocently/unknowingly being involved in a  money laundering operation for a regulated person is grossly unfair.

Such a person can face up to 14 years imprisonment when we regularly hear that violent criminals receive far shorter jail terms!

3. Following a report to SOCA, they always advise to proceed and seemingly do not actually do anything about it or even care.  This gives the impression that SOCA have bigger fish to fry (which invariable they do) and that the legislation imposed on regulated persons is insignificant to them. A report has to be made even when you have a "hunch" about someone just to ensure that you comply with the regulations. This of course is a far lower level than  the requirements for a criminal conviction, "beyond reasonable doubt". This lower level again increases red tape on businesses.

I understand that money laundering regulations are important to prevent terrorism however to place professionals/regulated sector persons on the front line for policing all other kinds of untoward financial activity with severe life destroying penalties is unnecessary, unfair and completely disproportionate. If you deal with a customer you have doubts over it can result in sleepless night

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