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Money laundering changes ‘to reduce burden on business’

The Treasury has published its recommendations for improving the Money Laundering Regulations and reducing the burden on British businesses.

It follows a Government review of the rules in which ministers found that the regulations and their implementation are ‘broadly effective and proportionate,’ although they conceded that there was scope for ‘improvement’.

Under the Treasury’s proposals for reform, businesses with turnover of less than £13,000 excluding VAT would be excluded from the regulations.

The Treasury also proposes removing more than two dozen criminal penalties for businesses which fail to have the appropriate systems and controls in place to combat money laundering.

It claims this would allow businesses to ‘implement a fully risk-based approach’, where businesses make their own assessment of the risks they face and implement appropriate systems and controls.

Civil penalties will remain and the Government will be consulting on whether regulators should have the power to impose additional penalties.

In a statement, James Sassoon, commercial secretary to the Treasury, said: ‘We believe that we can make the regulations more effective and proportionate by removing a range of criminal penalties on all businesses and by lifting the burdens on the smallest businesses.

‘This will modestly reduce the burden on business, without damaging the fight against money laundering’.