The risks of failing to train staff on Anti-Money Laundering

A London firm has been fined over £15,000 for failing to train its staff in anti-money laundering (AML) measures.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) found that the firm failed to make staff aware of AML requirements and did not provide them with relevant training. The firm also failed to have the required firm-wide risk assessments, policies, controls, and procedures in place.

The SRA fined the solicitors 2.4% of its annual domestic turnover along with £1,350 in costs.

This is one of more than 20 firms the SRA has fined since October 2023 for failing to comply with AML regulations.

This trend demonstrates the importance and scrutiny that the SRA is now placing on AML compliance within law firms.

Why is anti-money laundering training important?

AML regulations are in place to help prevent money laundering, criminal activities, and terrorist financing. Law firms are particularly susceptible to money laundering because they often handle large sums of money on behalf of clients.

AML training is essential for all employees in a law firm to ensure that they are aware of the law, their firm’s professional obligations and how these both need to be complied with. Training should cover topics such as the:

  • Identification and verification of clients
  • Reporting of suspicious activity
  • Maintenance of AML checks, records, and reporting

By providing staff with AML training, law firms can help to protect themselves from the financial, regulatory, and reputational risks of money laundering.

How Kinch Robinson AML training can help your lawyers

Our range of AML training is designed to provide law firms with the training their staff need to understand the risks and be comfortable exercising their judgement when important decisions need to be made. Our training courses are delivered by compliance experts and cover all the essential topics including:

  • The key anti-money laundering obligations and concerns for a law firm
  • Customer Due Diligence (CDD)
  • AML roles and reporting requirements

The training we deliver is never dull. Our expert trainers work hard to ensure our training is engaging, stimulating and helpful.

As well as offering bespoke face-to-face and live remote AML training, we also have comprehensive eLearning options. Where staff can progress through our online training suite, working at their own pace and at a time and place which is most convenient for them.

Our range of Anti-money Laundering training courses

Anti-money Laundering – An Introduction

A 75-minute interactive eLearning course covering the fundamental aspects of anti-money laundering. From AML regulations and the SRA’s approach, to enhanced CDD and ‘tipping off’.

A key feature of this training is that it doesn’t make people learn what they already know. So if a candidate passes our AML quiz at the beginning, they can skip ‘the basics’ module and move onto the scenarios.

Anti-money Laundering Scenarios

Our AML scenarios are based on real examples to put you in the hot seat. On each scenario you’ll decide how to deal with the situation that is presented.

Can you spot the money-launderer? Should you continue acting? Do you need to report to your money laundering reporting officer (MLRO)?

Each scenario takes around 15 minutes to complete and includes feedback along with a quiz. Released quarterly the scenarios are ideal for busy lawyers who already understand their obligations and just need to refresh and embed best practices.

Ukraine: Sanctions, AML and acting for Russian clients

Our free 30-minute webinar recording covers the range of recent sanctions that have been imposed by the UK Government on dealing with Russian clients. Explaining the additional checks that are required and frequently encountered scenarios.

It is clear that the SRA are ramping up its crackdown on any law firm that it perceives as having compliance issues with money laundering rules. So it’s the ideal time to ensure your staff are fully trained and confident on applying your AML policies.

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