Anybody who has committed an offence under Schedule 3 of the Money Laundering Regulations is barred from running a bookkeeping practice

ICB carries out approval checks when an individual applies for money laundering supervision (usually as part of an application for a Practice Licence). Approval is dependent on satisfaction of Regulation 26 of the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 and applies to individuals who own or hold positions of authority within the practice such as:

  • the sole practitioner
  • beneficial owners
  • officers
  • managers including the MLRO

An individual can satisfy Regulation 26 by providing evidence, in the form of a basic criminal record check, that they have no unspent convictions under Schedule 3 of the MLR.

Existing Practice Licence holders, and their Beneficial Owners, Officers and Managers (BOOMs), are also required to satisfy the criminality test by 26 June 2018.

FAQs

What are the Schedule 3 convictions?

The convictions in Schedule 3 relate to money laundering, fraud and dishonesty. Schedule 3 forms part of the MLTFTF REGULATIONS 2017 (MLR17) and can be read in full on the gov.uk website here:

>> Schedule 3

What is Regulation 26?

Regulation 26 of the MLR17 states:

Prohibitions and approvals

26.—(1) No person may be the beneficial owner, officer or manager of a firm within paragraph (2) (“a relevant firm”), or a sole practitioner within paragraph (2) (“a relevant sole practitioner”), unless that person has been approved as a beneficial owner, officer or manager of the firm or as a sole practitioner by the supervisory authority of the firm or sole practitioner

(9) An approval given by a supervisory authority under paragraph (8)

(a)is not valid if the person approved under paragraph (1) (the “approved person”) has been convicted of a relevant offence;

(b)ceases to be valid if the approved person is subsequently convicted of a relevant offence.

How do I satisfy the Regulation 26 requirement?

You need to provide evidence that neither you, nor any BOOMs of your practice, have unspent Schedule 3 convictions. You are required to do this by providing ICB with a copy of a basic disclosure certificate for yourself and each of your BOOMs, obtained by carrying out a DBS Basic Check online.

Copies of certificates can only be submitted online via Account Settings in MyICB for security and data protection reasons.

If you are a new applicant, you will be required to upload certificate copies at the point of application.

If you are an existing practice please follow the instructions in the email sent to you on 18 June 2018.

ICB respectfully informs you that ultimate responsibility for the uploading of the basic disclosure certificates for you and your BOOMs, rests with you.

What is a Beneficial Owner, Officer, Manager (BOOM)?

BENEFICIAL OWNER

“Beneficial Owner” means:

  • An individual who owns or controls (directly or indirectly) by any means, more than 25% of either the shares, capital, profits, or voting rights in the practice
  • An individual who is a controller of the practice or, a person purporting to act as a controller
  • Where an individual is the Beneficial Owner of a practice which benefits from or exercises control over the property of your practice
  • Any of the above definitions in which the individual is a nominee director and/or nominee shareholder

OFFICER

“officer” means a director, partner, secretary, chief executive, member of the “committee of management” or “governing body”, or a person purporting to act in such a capacity or any similar role.

MANAGER

“manager” means a person who has control, authority or responsibility for managing the business of that practice, and includes a sole-trader and Money Laundering Reporting Officer.

Further guidance:
If you are a sole trader working alone, your certificate is all we need. If you have formed a partnership or an incorporated company with someone else, and this may be your husband, wife, partner, sister, brother, child, parent, friend who actually does not even work in your business, but they are classed as a BOOM; a basic certificate is required for them too.  You may employ a manager or officer in your business who has a certain degree of authority and decision-making powers – they are a BOOM and we need a certificate for them too.

How do I give you details of my BOOMs?

If you are applying for a new Practice Licence you will provide details of your BOOMs, employees and sub-contractors as part of the application process.

If you are an existing licence holder, you can bring up to date the details of your BOOMs (as well as employees and sub-contractors) by editing My Practice Details via MyICB Account Settings
 
1. Log in to Account Settings online
 
 
2. Select My Practice Details, and click edit on the Team list
 
Here you can update existing details and enter new BOOMs (Beneficial Owners, Officers, Managers and Money Laundering Reporting officer) and employees/subcontractors within your practice 
 
3. Upload a Basic Disclosure certificate once you have saved your BOOM details 
 
4. When you have finished adding all the necessary details ad certificates, click 'Confirm' at the bottom of your Team list on MyPractice Details, to confirm that all the details have been updated. 
 
For full details and screenshots to assist you please visit:
 

What is a DBS Basic Check?

A DBS Basic Check, is a criminal record check you can request for yourself.

“It will contain details of convictions and conditional cautions that are considered to be unspent under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 aims to give those with convictions or cautions the chance - in certain circumstances - to wipe the slate clean and start afresh. Under the Act, eligible convictions or cautions become ‘spent’ after a specified period of time known as the ‘rehabilitation period’, the length of which varies depending on how the individual was dealt with.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/basic-checks

A basic check is different from a standard or enhanced check which may contain cautions and convictions which are spent.  ICB only requires you and your BOOMs to complete a Basic Check.

How do I obtain a DBS Basic Check?

Both you and your BOOMs will need to complete your own basic checks by using the online criminal record check service, which can be found at:

England & Wales: https://www.gov.uk/request-copy-criminal-record

Northern Ireland: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/services/apply-online-basic-check

Scotland: https://www.mygov.scot/basic-disclosure/apply-for-basic-disclosure/

You may need to verify your identity to carry out a basic check. In England and Wales you will be automatically directed to the government identity checking service: GOV.UK Verifyto verify your ID online. This should take about ten minutes, after which you can begin your basic check which is likely to take a further ten minutes.

The cost of a basic check is £25 (£26 in NI) and you will need the following details before you start:

  • all your addresses for the last 5 years and the dates you lived there; and,
  • your National Insurance number; and,
  • a debit or credit card; and,
  • proof of your identity, for example a passport, valid driving licence or birth certificate (if you haven’t used GOV.UK Verify before)

In Scotland you will verify your identity online as part of the basic check process. Please follow instructions on mygov.scot which will require you to upload copies of ID as part of the application.

In Northern Ireland you will need to forward copies of ID documents separately from your basic check to verify your ID. Please follow instructions on nidirect.gov.uk 

I already have a DBS Check, will you accept it?

ICB can only accept DBS Checks/disclosure certificates dated within three months of your submission. If your certificate or a certificate of a BOOM is older than this date, ICB is unable to accept it.

Do you accept standard or enhanced DBS Checks?

You may only upload a copy of an enhanced or standard Criminal Check if it is completely clear of offences. The Regulations do not allow any Supervisor to see any criminal details contained within an enhanced or standard Criminal Check as this would undermine the purpose of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.  ICB therefore requests a Basic Criminal Check, which only includes unspent convictions.

Can I send you a link for you to view my DBS check online?

No. ICB requires a copy of the DBS basic disclosure certificate to be uploaded to MyICB for its secure records. You will therefore need to request that a paper copy of the certificate is posted to you.

Sharing a link to the online certiifcate does not save time as the link details are posted out anyway.

What if there are unspent criminal convictions?

ICB, and indeed any Supervisor, cannot approve a member’s practice if that member or its BOOM has an unspent criminal conviction that falls under Schedule 3 of the Regulations. If a BOOM within your practice has such a conviction, ICB will require you to remove that person from their position before it can grant your practice approval. Unfortunately, the Regulations are absolute on this point, and ICB will not be able to consider mitigating circumstances. 

If you or a BOOM within any part of your practice has such a conviction and you do not take steps to resolve the issue, ICB will be unable to approve your practice and it will have to refuse your application, cease its supervision of you and invalidate your Practice Licence. Further, no other Supervisor will be able to accept supervision of your practice and you will have to cease trading.

What if I, or a BOOM, are convicted in the future?

Regulation 26(10) requires you and/or a BOOM within any part of your practice to inform your Supervisor of the conviction within 30 days of the date of the conviction, or the date your practice becomes aware of it.

In order to maintain your approval from your Supervisor you will need to remove the relevant BOOM from their position.

Is ICB the only Supervisor requesting DBS Checks & BOOM details?

No. Wherever there is potential risk of money laundering and/or terrorist financing Supervisors are required to collate and record this information. This includes not only the bookkeeping and accountancy but also financial, legal and property sectors.

HM Treasury and OPBAS have provided clear guidance on how they expect Supervisors to implement the Regulations and ICB is following those recommendations.

If you are regulated by another Supervisor that has not yet requested this information, it is likely that they will do so in the future. Any Supervisor that grants its members approval without this information will be at risk of issuing invalid approvals and could be subject to further action pending investigation by Treasury, HMRC and/or OPBAS.  

Further, by ICB implementing these Regulations ICB members can promote themselves as belonging to an body which has taken every reasonable step to ensure its members do not have unspent convictions arising from dishonesty and fraud.

What is the deadline and what happens if I miss it?

New licence holders should submit this information at point of application.

Existing licence holders should submit this information online via MyICB by 26 June 2018. If you do not provide ICB with the required information in time, ICB will be unable to approve your practice and may have to take steps to cease its supervision. Please contact ICB at the earliest opportunity if you have any difficulties.

How often do DBS certificates need to be updated?

The current guidance provided by HMRC, HMT and OPBAS is that this information is only required once, unless in the case of a new conviction. However, this guidance may be subject to change in the future and, if it does, ICB shall duly inform you.

What will ICB do with my basic disclosure certificate?

ICB takes your privacy and its own Data Protection responsibilities very seriously and confirms that all sensitive data it receives will be processed and stored in accordance with current legislative requirements.

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