We continue to pick up a variety of points to note when carrying out independent audits. Note para- graph 6.2 of the Legal Sector Affinity Group Guidance 2021 (LSAG) which states that longstanding/ personal relationships do not satisfy the requirement for independent verification of Customer Due Diligence (CDD), and paragraph 6.8 which requires that CDD is carried out before you permit funds to be deposited in client account (though money on account of costs/fees may be accepted on a risk sensitive basis).

Our January 2021 issue identified the need for evidence of the process by which the Practice Wide Risk Assessment was produced. This is a statutory requirement and the SRA are asking for records of steps taken to review it.

The Crown Prosecution Service has published updated guidance and will now prosecute individuals for failure to disclose offences even where it transpires that money laundering did not occur.

The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) has updated its Russia guidance. It has also published a blog on reasonableness in licensing, including a section on legal fees.

Links to the above are on www.legalrisk.co.uk/News.

Extra-territorial scope of overseas trust registration has been enhanced with effect from by 1 July 2021 by amendments to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 introduced by section 34 of the Financial Services Act 2021.

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