As businesses face mounting regulatory pressure and scrutiny, Joe French, Head of Financial Crime at Newgate Compliance - an Ocorian-owned London-based compliance consultancy - highlights the key drivers behind this pressure and introduces Newgate's new Financial Crime Unit that supports firms to implement robust financial crime controls.

In recent years, there have been some very high-profile anti-money laundering (AML) cases in the UK. Just last month, NatWest was subject to criminal charges as a result of failings concerning its risk sensitive customer due diligence and the ongoing monitoring of these relationships.

AML compliance continues to come under scrutiny from regulators, with key drivers including:

  • evolving domestic and international regulatory requirements;
  • global political pressures;
  • work carried out by independent organisation's such as the Financial Action Task Force; and
  • high profile data leaks such as the Panama Papers and FinCEN disclosures 

In the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) stressed the importance of strong AML controls in a recent publication of their Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, Mark Steward's speech to the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Bribery and Corruption Forum.

In this speech, Mr Steward addressed how seriously the FCA takes this crucial area of regulatory focus and reiterated the requirement for firms to have in place systems and controls that are purposeful and efficient in managing financial crime risk. He also highlighted that some systems can be overly complicated, bureaucratic, expensive, and vulnerable to exploitation.

In response to businesses' pressing need for AML compliance, we would like to introduce our new Financial Crime Unit.

Newgate Compliance Financial Crime Unit

Our newly established specialist Financial Crime Unit offers our clients support across all sectors and jurisdictions. Our team offer clear advice, practical solutions and dedicated support from experienced compliance professionals, many of whom are ex-regulators.

Newgate offers support across three key areas:

Developing Systems and Controls We help firms identify and assess the risks they face in respect of financial crime. We also assist in the implementation of policies, controls, and procedures to effectively mitigate and manage the risks identified. 
Outsourced AML Assistance

Many firms want to ensure protection against financial crime risk but are faced with resource and costing issues. Newgate offers clients an outsourced AML function which allows firms to efficiently manage their regulatory risk and operating overheads.

Independent Audit

We provide independent evaluation and audits against local legislation and guidance including:

  • examine and evaluate the adequacy and effectiveness of policies, controls and procedures by the firm or its service providers;
  • recommend and implement remedial action plans; and
  • monitor the firm's compliance with those recommendations

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