Minister for Business and Innovation, Mark Prisk MP, told ICB chief executive, Garry Carter, that the AML legislation had been a great success and applauded ICB's positive support for the legislation. Speaking at a private meeting with leaders of business organisations, the Minister said that the government should take care not to reduce legislation that was working and by doing so cause problem or reduce its effectiveness.
Carter told the Minister that ICB members' legal obligation under the Money Laundering Regulations to ensure that businesses did not evade Tax had been very positively received by the members. He said that the legal and moral obligation to ensure that businesses kept proper records had made bookkeepers not only more professional but also more relevant to the sectors in which they work. But Carter suggested to the Minister that recent discussions about tinkering with the MLR could have serious consequences for legislation that was having a very positive effect and could make a complete nonsense of what the legislation is intended to achieve if small businesses were allowed to fall outside the scope of the legislation. The Minister agreed with the comments and said that government must ensure that good legislation is supported and used properly. He said that feedback from representative organisations such as ICB was vital to assist government in reaching decisions appropriate and effective.
Carter praised the work of HMRC inspectors in making the presumption that businesses that keep good books are less likely to be doing anything illegal and therefore concentrating their efforts on businesses that did not have external support. The Minister agreed with this point and indicated that in his view this co-operation and balance is exactly what good legislation is intended to achieve.
The lobbying of ICB and the robust standards of its supervised members are considered to have significantly contributed to the recent decision by the Treasury to remove the distinction between Part 1 and Part 2 supervisors in respect of third-party reliance. This marks a huge achievement for bookkeepers, whose AML controls are now considered to be at the same standard as those of a firm of Chartered Accountants. More information will be provided in next month's newsletter. Meanwhile please click the link below to view in full:
Consultation on proposed changes to the money laundering regulations 2007:
Government response July 2012