Government attempting to get a grip on money laundering

The Government is attempting to transfer the power to impose financial sanctions for money laundering through its Brexit bill.

The Bill began in the House of Lords and will grant ministers the power to create new forms of sanctions through secondary legislation, as well as creating criminal offences punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.

This step in the improvement of legislature is needed, as the UK’s current power lies in the European Communities Act of 1972, due to be repealed as part of the Brexit process.

However, the Bill has been criticised across the house and among scholars as too ‘wide-ranging’ in powers granted to Government.

Professionals and businesses alike will watch with concern to see if the new regime – along with new policies, controls and procedures – will increase the compliance burden.

Baroness Taylor of Bolton voiced that “The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill grants unduly broad powers to ministers and establishes sanctions regimes that will be subject to less scrutiny and challenge than those that exist at present.”

The Government has said that legislation is not designed to bring any substantive policy changes and is intended to make it easier to impose new sanctions when the need arises.

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