Brexit: UK companies must check their regulatory compliance

By William Girling
Anti-money laundering (AML) organisation SmartSearch has issued a warning to UK firms that EU directives against the practice must still be adhered to...

Anti-money laundering (AML) organisation SmartSearch has issued a warning to UK firms that EU directives against the practice must still be adhered to.

Despite the UK’s exit transition period expiring at the beginning of the year, the company points out that prior legislation remains ‘on the books’. It is therefore striving to raise awareness for the necessity of continued compliance. 

Modernising compliance

SmartSearch was founded in 2005 in West Yorkshire. Recognised as a ‘RegTech 100’ firm, the company offers AML solutions, KYC (know your customers), fraud prevention and more across a variety of sectors and business types.

In parallel with the UK Government’s own advice, SmartSearch encourages the switch from paper-based manual checks to electronic verification in order to maintain ‘up-to-the-minute’ compliance with new legislative changes.

John Dobson, CEO, states that maintaining smooth operations during this period of economic turbulence will be imperative, particularly for highly concentrated areas of financial services activity:

“We’ve now had six EU Money Laundering Directives with the last one just published a few weeks ago. As a major global financial centre, the City of London will be compliant with these regulations, as they still want to do business with the EU, which means all regulated businesses need to be compliant.

“We may have left the EU on Dec 31, but have you checked the small print? Businesses still need to be up to date with that legislation or risk fines and enforcement action from the FCA. For any business, the best way to be compliant is by switching to electronic verification for onboarding new customers and we would urge all businesses to make that switch this year.”

With Brexit theoretically designed to allow the UK to diverge from EU policies and processes if it chooses, it remains unclear how the regulatory landscape will continue to change. For now, at least, businesses must ensure their operations are modernised to keep pace with a rapidly changing environment.

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