Money laundering supervision

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is required to maintain a register of authorised persons and persons who have notified it that they are acting, or intend to act, as a money service business or trust or company service provider. HMRC is obliged to maintain a register of ‘relevant persons’ acting in the course of business carried on by them in the UK who are not included in the FCA register. This is broadly businesses in the following list, subject to certain exclusions outlined in SI 2017/692 reg 15:

  • credit institutions
  • financial institutions
  • auditors, insolvency practitioners, external accountants and tax advisers
  • independent legal professionals
  • trust or company service providers
  • estate agents and letting agents
  • high-value dealers
  • casinos
  • art market participants
  • cryptoasset exchange providers
  • custodian wallet providers, and
  • (in respect of certain regulations only) auction platforms

Businesses who need to register must pay registration fees and are not able to trade legally until they are included in the register or have applied to be registered. HMRC has published new guidance ― ‘Get a payment deferral or deregister from money laundering supervision due to coronavirus (COVID-19)’ ― for businesses that are due to renew money laundering supervision with HMRC. A business could either take a payment deferral for six months from the date it is due, or deregister if the business stops trading due to coronavirus. This applies to all businesses with an annual fee due between 1 May and 30 September 2020. The guidance also includes information on applying to re-register a business. See the Money laundering considerations guidance note.