Money laundering regulations

You might need to be approved

The Government’s new money laundering regulations require us to collect more information about the firms we regulate. The information will be used to approve your firm to carry out work that is within the scope of the money laundering regulations. All firms should have completed an online form, regardless of whether or not they undertake activities subject to the new regulations.

What we have done

All firms had to complete and submit the online form – even if they do not undertake activities that are subject to the money laundering regulations.

They needed to declare any relevant criminal convictions of significant people working at the firm.

To help firms prepare to complete the form, we made the questions they would need to answer.

We also produced a useful Q&A.

About the form

Below are the questions we asked in the online form.

Do not attempt to complete or submit this specimen form.

1. Does your firm offer services that are subject to money laundering regulations?

  • The buying and selling of real property or business entities
  • The managing of client money, securities or other assets
  • The opening or management of bank, savings or securities accounts
  • The organisation of contributions necessary for the creation, operation or management of companies
  • The creation, operation or management of trusts, companies, foundations or similar structures

Yes - Continue to next question

No - Continue to next question


2. Does your firm offer services that are subject to money laundering regulations (continued)?

  • Forming companies or other legal persons
  • Acting or arranging for another person to act;
    • as a director or secretary of a company
    • as a partner of a partnership; or
    • in a similar capacity in relation to other legal persons
     
  • Providing a registered office, business address, correspondence or administrative address or other related services for a company, partnership or any other legal person or legal arrangement
  • Acting or arranging for another person to act, as;
    • a trustee of an express trust or similar legal arrangement; or
    • a nominee shareholder for a person other than a company whose securities are listed on a regulated market
     

Yes - Continue to next question

No - Continue to next question


3. Does your firm operate in any of the following fields?

  • Auditors, insolvency practitioners, external accountants, and or tax advisers
  • Estate agents

Yes - Continue to next question

No - Continue to next question


Yes to any previous question - Continue to next question

No to all previous questions - Continue to question 9


4. Details of your firm’s money laundering reporting officer

Your firm must appoint one person as a nominated officer under regulation 21(3) MLR to receive disclosures, and make disclosures to the National Crime Agency (NCA). This person is more commonly referred to as a money laundering reporting officer (MLRO). Their role is to recognise whether there are reasonable grounds for knowledge or suspicion that a person is engaged in money laundering or terrorist financing and if so, report it to the NCA.

If the individual you want to nominate is already known to the SRA, you can use their SRA ID to search for them below. If the individual is not known to the SRA please type in their name and contact details below. If you have already told us about your firm's reporting officer, their details will already be in the fields below.

For anyone who is not a solicitor with a practising certificate, a registered foreign lawyer (RFL), registered European lawyer (REL) or an approved role holder, we will be in touch once you have submitted your response to arranged for a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check to be completed.

Tell us who your firm's reporting officer is - Continue through questionnaire


5. Details of your money laundering compliance officer

Most firms will also need to appoint an officer responsible for the firm’s compliance with the money laundering regulations (see regulation 21(1) MLR). This is a new role introduced by the MLRs 2017. It is a separate role to the MLRO, but it can be held by the same person. The officer must hold a senior position in your firm, such as a director or equivalent member of senior management.

If the individual you want to nominate is already known to the SRA, you can use their SRA ID to search for them below. If the individual is not known to the SRA please type in their name and contact details below.

For anyone who is not a solicitor with a practising certificate, a registered foreign lawyer (RFL), registered European lawyer (REL) or an approved role holder, we will be in touch once you have submitted your response to arranged for a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check to be completed.

Tell us who your firm's compliance officer is - Continue to next question


6. Managers, beneficial owners, officers of your firm

If your firm has any individuals that under the MLRs are considered a manager, beneficial owner or officer of the firm, they need to apply for approval to us under regulation 26.

The mechanism for applying for approval is by providing their details below and by the SRA obtaining a DBS certificate for individuals that we do not currently authorise as a solicitor/REL/RFL or authorised role holder. Once we have these details they will have satisfied the requirement under regulation 26, and formally applied for approval.

For anyone who is not a solicitor with a practising certificate, a registered foreign lawyer (RFL), registered European lawyer (REL) or an approved role holder, we will be in touch once you have submitted your response to arranged for a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check to be completed.

Identify individuals to be approved - Continue to next question


7. Fit and proper declaration

Please read the following two statements carefully and choose the one relevant to your situation.

  • None of the individuals listed in the "managers, beneficial owners, officers of your firm" section have any unspent convictions listed in schedule 3 MLRs.
  • One or more of the individuals listed in the "managers, beneficial owners, officers of your firm" section have unspent convictions listed in schedule 3 MLRs.

None - Continue to next question

One or more - Continue to next question


8. Individuals convicted of a criminal offence listed in schedule 3 of the MLRs

Below are all the individuals you have confirmed within the managers, beneficial owners and officers section. Please confirm which of these individuals have any (unspent) criminal offence(s) listed in schedule 3 of the MLRs.

We will be in touch once you have submitted your response to arrange for a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check to be completed.

Identify individuals with convictions - Continue to next question


9. Anti-money-laundering declaration

I understand that it is my responsibility to make sure all the information I have given you is correct and complete.

I understand that if I have knowingly or recklessly given you information that is false or misleading (or if I failed to tell you about any significant information) you could take disciplinary action, or share information with a third-party that leads to disciplinary action.

I understand that you may (under the Data Protection Act 1998) use any personal information from this application to perform your duties under any relevant legislation.

I understand that you might do whatever checks you think are necessary to process this information and make sure it complies with the SRA Handbook.


I confirm that the information I have given is correct, to the best of my knowledge and belief

You will have now completed the anti-money-laundering form.

We will be in touch to obtain a DBS certificate for individuals you have added that we do not currently authorise as a solicitor/REL/RFL or authorised role holder.

Who to contact

If you want advice about the questions, you can contact our Professional Ethics Guidance helpline.

If you need help with the form, call our Contact Centre.

Definition of positions

This guidance is to assist firms when deciding who in their firm falls under the definitions of beneficial owner, manager and officer contained in The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (MLR).

While we want to assist you in interpreting the Government regulations, you will of course need to satisfy yourself on the legal position. The obligation to identify who are your beneficial owners, officers and managers is on you as a firm. If having read this guidance you are still unsure, you should consider obtaining specialist advice on your position.

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Please use www.sra.org.uk/mlform to link to this page.

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