MLD4; smaller firms risk nasty shocks from the regulator
Today is the implementation date for the fourth EU Money Laundering Directive (MLD4); time to see if preparations are up to scratch or whether a flurry of FCA fines will be issued. John Marsden, Head of ID and Fraud at Equifax comments:
“The rise in high profile fines for failing to maintain money laundering defences proves that this issue is a key regulatory priority. Financial penalties for big players have pushed other industry giants to get their anti-money laundering procedures in shape. Aware that they’ll be in the FCA’s firing line, many big financial institutions will be ready to face a regulatory assessment of their MLD4 compliance processes.
“The same can’t be said for smaller firms, where many have been slower on the regulation uptake. It’s arguably unfamiliar territory for the FCA to hone in on smaller businesses, but with anti-money laundering so high on the agenda economically and politically, this time could be different. While a traditional approach would target the bigger banks, smaller financial institutions could be subject to a series of warning shots in the form of audits, investigations and sanctions, should the regulator suspect they are failing to comply with MLD4. As a final step, a hefty fine could be issued which would have a significant financial impact on smaller businesses.
“The UK will remain under the spotlight for domestic and international corruption, and regulated firms of all sizes need to ensure their protocols match the regulatory requirements. Companies have had ample time to accept and prepare for their role in the fight against money laundering as it continues to damage the UK economy. If they can’t demonstrate their compliance they risk significant financial and reputational damage. MLD5 is set to go ahead next year, heralding further changes – companies must ensure they don’t fall behind in their responsibility to tackle financial crime.”
- Ends -
For further information, please contact:
Sonam Patel or Alastair Doyle
Telephone: +44(0) 20 3697 4200
Equifax is a global information solutions company that uses trusted unique data, innovative analytics, technology and industry expertise to power organizations and individuals around the world by transforming knowledge into insights that help make more informed business and personal decisions. The company organizes, assimilates and analyzes data on more than 820 million consumers and more than 91 million businesses worldwide, and its database includes employee data contributed from more than 7,100 employers.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., Equifax operates or has investments in 24 countries in North America, Central and South America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. It is a member of Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500® Index, and its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. Equifax employs approximately 9,700 employees worldwide.
Some noteworthy achievements for the company include: Named to the Top 100 American Banker FinTech Forward list (2015-2016); named a Top Technology Provider on the FinTech 100 list (2004-2016); named an InformationWeek Elite 100 Winner (2014-2015); named a Top Workplace by Atlanta Journal Constitution (2013-2016); named one of Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies (2011-2015); named one of Forbes’ World’s 100 Most Innovative Companies (2015-2016). For more information, visit www.equifax.com.
Equifax Limited is one of the Equifax group companies based in the UK. Equifax Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.