A guide to reporting obligations under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
A practical guide designed to help bank staff comply with their reporting obligations under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA), written by Jon Gale, a senior associate in the dispute resolution department at Ashurst LLP.
The guide provides a routemap of the steps staff need to take, and the issues they need to consider, when determining whether a suspicious activity report (SAR) needs to be made to their Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) and on to the National Crime Agency (NCA) under POCA relating to suspected money laundering.
In particular, the guide helps bank staff to assess:
- Whether any POCA offences apply.
- Whether they have the requisite knowledge or suspicion.
- Whether any POCA exemptions or defences apply.
- What issues to consider when reporting knowledge or suspicion of money laundering.
- How to avoid tipping off.
- Whether other offences apply.
For a flowchart providing a short summary of the steps bank staff should take, see Flowchart, Reporting obligations under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Although this guide focuses on bank staff, the steps outlined, and issues raised, are generally relevant for staff of other firms when complying with the POCA reporting obligations.