Small firms must do more to tackle money laundering

The Financial Services Authority says that while large and medium sized financial services firms are doing their bit to tackle money laundering, small firms could still do more.

The regulator has today published the findings of its first industry wide review into how well firms are managing the risks that money laundering poses to their business.

The review covered large, medium sized and small firms across each sector in the financial services industry.

The results show that larger firms are adopting a more risk based approach and engaging senior management in tackling money laundering.

Medium sized firms are also largely managing their money laundering risks appropriately.

But there is still room for improvement in smaller firms particularly in relation to staff training and regular risk assessments.

Philip Robinson, director of financial crime and intelligence at the FSA, says: “Most firms are taking their anti-money laundering obligations seriously and general compliance is good, but there are areas where some firms need to increase their focus.

“Particularly around issues like Politically Exposed Persons and understanding their responsibilities in relation to any HM Treasury sanctions.

“Small firms also need to ensure that their staff are properly trained and that reviews of their AML procedures are carried out regularly.”