The Law Commission has published an extensive report examining the UK’s current Suspicious Activity Report (“SAR”) regime for notifying suspected money laundering to the National Crime Agency (“NCA”) and outlining 19 recommendations for reform. These include both legislative and non-legislative mechanisms designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the consent regime. This report follows a July 2018 consultation paper, which was discussed in a previous client update. Interestingly, the Law Commission reviewed a sample of hundreds of SARs to help it analyse the potential impact of the various proposals and lend support to its final recommendations.
In short, the existing SAR regime will be largely retained, with the recommendations having limited practical effect, especially for organisations outside the regulated sector. We summarise below the key recommendations and consider their likely impact. Continue reading