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FSA in move to stamp out money launderers

The FSA has set out its strategy for IFAs in the fight against money

laundering.

In its new role, required by the Financial Services and Markets Bill, the

regulator will have the power to institute criminal proceedings for

breaches of the money laundering regulations of 1993.

The rules include ensuring the names and addresses of new customers are

known, keeping records, watching out for big or increasingly regular

transactions and reporting any suspicions of money laundering to the

authorities.

The FSA says London&#39s reputation as a big financial centre attracts

criminals who want to plough their ill-gotten gains back into the bank ing

system.

The FSA is inviting responses from the industry. It expects firms whose

systems are already at “acceptable levels” to be able to comply easily with

the proposed rules.

Managing director of authorisation, enforcement and consumer relations

Phillip Thorpe says: “The publication of these draft rules is an important

step for the FSA towards reducing financial crime.

“The proposed rules are sensible and pragmatic and their implementation should neither exclude anyone nor overburden the industry.”

Investment IFA Best Investment is angry with Legal & General for

requesting money- laundering certificates for Pep transfers of over £9,000.

It says these transfers do not form new money being inv ested, just a

transfer of an existing investment that had clearly complied with the

legislation at the time the purchase was made.

Best Investment says the only reason a Pep could be worth more than £9,000

is legitimate growth in the value of an already compliant plan.

Deputy managing director Jason Hollands says: “The legislation is designed

to frustrate drug traffickers and other criminals attempting to feed their

ill-gained profits into the legitimate financial system by placing a system

of checks on investment applications in excess of £9,000 which are not

drawn from a UK bank account.”

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