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Anti-Money Laundering Software


On this page you will find information on the 2003 UK Anti Money Laundering Regulations, details of software to help you comply with the regulations, and at the bottom of the page you will find a variety of books and guides on this complex subject. We hope you find it a useful resource.


Money Laundering Regulations 2003

The UK law is the first anti-money laundering law, other than emergency powers, which requires any British citizen to report to the authorities, not just actual knowledge that a person is involved in a crime, but also suspicion. Failure to make such a report is a criminal offence and, depending on the precise circumstances, the person who does not report it can face up to 14 years in jail.

The UK Government shows just how seriously they regard the issue by the fact that sentences carry no remission: this means that a person who is sentenced to 14 years will actually serve 14 years. In some cases pleading ignorance is no defence and therefore, it is important that organisations and employees at risk are aware of their obligations under the legislation now in place. This places very important obligations on companies and their staff to report suspicions. The penalties can be severe for ignoring these obligations.

AML Custodian - UK Money Laundering Protection Software

OPSIS AML Custodian - Money Laundering Protection Software

Custodian is a new product which provides Money Laundering Protection for Solicitors, Estate Agents, Car Dealerships, Auctioneers and Independent Financial Advisors, and is suitable for a variety of other industry sectors.

Learn more about Money Laundering Regulations, Legislation and Compliance Software in the UK and AML Custodian at www.opsisltd.co.uk/aml

Anti Money Laundering (AML)

The Money Laundering Regulations 2003 came into force on 1st March 2004. This legislation now applies to a wider range of industries and, for the first time, high value goods dealers accepting any type of payments of £10,000 (Euro 15,000), or more.

Solicitors, Estate Agents, IFAs, Car Dealerships, Auctioneers, for example, are now required to have effective anti money laundering systems and controls in place. Failure to comply could mean you are committing a criminal offence under the Regulations.

Introducing OPSIS

OPSIS have been providing software solutions to the legal profession for over 25 years. Combining a wealth of legal experience with extensive IT expertise, OPSIS has developed Custodian to specifically meet the needs of commercial businesses required to meet the money laundering regulations.

Verifying Identity

Every new client is automatically checked against the Bank of England Consolidated Sanctions list.

Whatever the type of client ~ UK individuals, companies, partnerships, estates/trusts etc;
Custodian prompts you for the correct form of client ID verification - for example, did you know that when dealing with companies you need to verify the company’s details and individually verify at least 2 of the Directors?

You can see at a glance if the client has not yet been verified, or when the ID checks were last performed.


The Regulations require you to keep all money laundering records, including client ID evidence, for 5 years. That’s an awful lot of paperwork to be stored somewhere in your offices.

Custodian comes with a fully integrated Xerox scanner that allows you to scan and electronically store scanned or photocopied images of evidence against each client’s record; providing a much more efficient method of storage with immediate access, no need to rummage through archived files in the depths of old filing cabinets.

Dealing with Suspicions

The Money Laundering Regulations require that any suspicions are reported to the MLRO (Money Laundering Reporting Officer). Custodian includes a simple and easy to use procedure to raise a suspicion.

Custodian automatically forwards any suspicions by email to the MLRO and immediately marks the client as being "under suspicion". With access to all sales activity, client information etc the MLRO can then decide whether to make a formal Report to NCIS.

Custodian automatically produces the NCIS disclosure report form merging all the relevant client information. As a safeguard, the client is then "black listed" and all relevant staff are notified by email.

Using OPSIS Expertise

Using Custodian as your Money Laundering system will mean spending less time on paper admin and filing, and will ensure the highest standard of compliance and client service are maintained by your company and your staff. OPSIS highly experienced support and training staff have the knowledge and skills to ensure your system is implemented swiftly and smoothly and all your staff can use it effectively from day one.

Learn more about OPSIS Custodian Anti Money Laundering Software at www.opsisltd.co.uk/aml

Other Money Laundering Information Resources

Institute of Money Laundering Prevention Officers

The Institute of Money Laundering Prevention Officers is a useful resource. The Institute of Money Laundering Prevention Officers (IMLPO) is the organisation for the UK’s anti-money laundering community. It is a broad, cross-representative forum of anti-money laundering practitioners who - in a safe environment - share views, experiences and opinions of the day-to-day business of combating money laundering.

Click here to download the IMLPO promotional flier (218Kb, PDF format)


Institute of Legal Cashiers & Administrators MLRO Policy

The Institute of Legal Cashiers & Administrators have concerns about the position of a nominated officer as the Money Laundering Reporting Officer. They have this to say about the issue:-

The new ‘Anti Money Laundering Regime’ depends extensively upon Internal Reporting (within Law Firms) concerning knowledge or suspicion of money laundering offences. Such Internal Reporting is made to the Money Laundering Reporting Officer - MLRO (sometimes referred to as the Nominated Officer). After such Internal Reporting, the MLRO has to decide if a Report should be made to the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS).

The MLRO carries heavy responsibility. Errors carry criminal penalties and imprisonment.

We have carefully considered the position of our members in relation to the functions and liabilities associated with the position of the MLRO working within Law Firms. There is no specific legal or professional requirement concerning the type of qualification or experience necessary for this function, and we know that some Firms see this role being performed by Legal Cashiers and Administrators who have little or no formal legal training.

The Institute of Legal Cashiers and Administrators do not agree with this approach.

It is now clear to us that the role of the MLRO can only be safely performed by persons who have some formal legal training and who hold the required authority to intervene during a case should a file require investigation. This formal training must address not only the specific legal issues related directly to the new money laundering ‘Regime’ but also the many associated legal implications. Normally speaking Legal Cashiers and Administrators will not have had the correct legal training and accordingly we believe that they should not undertake the role of MLRO in a Law Firm.

To read the full policy document refer to the following web page: The Institute of Legal Cashiers & Administrators Policy regarding the Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO).

BMZ's Anti-Money Laundering Zone

This anti-money laundering site contains a guide to (British) money laundering compliance and legislation, and related AML information, including various AML news items.

International Money Laundering Information Bureau

The UK's leading authority on Financial Crime. Click here for the International Money Laundering Information Bureau web site.

Billy's Money Laundering Information Web Site

Billy Steel's money laundering information web site is a mine of useful information which introduces and discusses many aspects of the problems associated with financial crime. The site covers the following topics:-

A Brief History, What is Money Laundering?, How Big is the Problem? The Money Laundering Process, Stages of the Process, Money Laundering Methods, How Can We Prevent It? Some measures to prevent this crime, Effects on Financial Institutions, Business Areas Prone To Money Laundering, UK Legislation, Money Laundering Offences, International Initiatives, The Future, Conclusions, Recommendations.

Nigerian Money Laundering Scam

The Nigerian Scam (or 419 Advance Fee Fraud). Be warned, they promise millions but you could lose everything. Click here to learn about the criminals who organise the Money Laundering Email Fraud Scam.

International Compliance Association

The International Compliance Association is a non-profit making professional organisation dedicated to the furtherance of best compliance and anti money laundering practice in the financial services sector.

The ICA seeks to transcend national boundaries by educating and supporting compliance and anti money laundering professionals globally, through the provision of internationally recognised qualifications, member information exchange and training.

Membership of the ICA (designated by the use of 'MICA') indicates a high level of practical competence in the field of international compliance and anti money laundering practice. The MICA designation is also designed to signify a dedication to the conduct of financial services business and the provision of professional advice whilst maintaining the highest levels of integrity.

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A Comparative Guide to Anti-Money Laundering: A Critical Analysis of Systems in Singapore, Switzerland, the UK and the USA
by Mark Pieth (Editor), Gemma Aiolfi (Editor)

Product Details:

  • Hardcover 544 pages (September 28, 2004)
  • Publisher: Edward Elgar
  • Language: English

All the major financial centres have experienced a rise in anti-money laundering rules and regulations. Initially, anti-money laundering laws were used as a weapon in the war on drugs, whilst more recently they have been deployed in the ongoing fight against terrorism. These developments, the authors reveal, have had serious consequences for banks and other financial institutions - affecting not only profit margins but also the way in which business is conducted.

Topical and pertinent issues addressed in this book include questions such as; "Has all the recent legislative activity really put a stop to the problem? - Are the international rules being implemented as carefully as they should? - How level is the playing field in cross border banking?".

The regimes and implementation of anti-money laundering laws and regulations of four major, cross border, financial centres are also examined in depth: Switzerland, Singapore, the UK, and the USA.

Going beyond the purely descriptive, there are comparative analyses of these countries against existing international standards - with illuminating results. This new book is full of original insight and analysis and will be an invaluable resource for lawyers, both scholarly and practitioner based, with an interest in economic crime as well as policymakers and compliance officers within banks and other financial institutions.

Money Laundering Law: Forfeiture, Confiscation, Civil Recovery, Criminal Laundering and Taxation of the Proceeds of Crime
by Peter Alldridge

Product Details:

  • Hardcover 328 pages (January 14, 2003)
  • Publisher: Hart Publishing

The leading text on money laundering law in the UK and EU.

Money Laundering: Business Compliance
by Stuart Bazley, Caroline Foster

Product Details:

  • Paperback 191 pages (July 1, 2004)
  • Publisher: Butterworth Heinemann

In the drive to halt funding terrorist activity, control of money laundering activity has risen high on the Governments agenda. The Money Laundering Regulations 2003 expand the Regulators already wide powers. Failure to comply with anti-money laundering provisions prevents businesses functioning properly, carries severe financial penalties and can result in serious criminal sanctions. The 2003 Regulations require regulated companies to ensure they: put in place proper identifying, recording and reporting procedures; appoint a Money Laundering Reporting Officer; make staff aware of the Regulations and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002; and provide proper training. Given the severity of the sanctions, it is essential that you are aware of your obligations.

Using flowcharts, diagrams, checklists and bullet points, this timely and user-friendly manual shows you how to comply fully and effectively. "Money Laundering: Business Compliance":

  • Shows you how to spot activities that must be reported;
  • Alerts you to when and how you must report and to do so within minimum business interruption;
  • Demonstrates how to ensure compliance with the regulatory framework;
  • Gives details on correct training procedures;
  • Tells you how to avoid falling foul of the stringent rules against tipping off;
  • and arms you with the knowledge to avoid the pitfalls.

This book is essential reading for MLROs, directors, compliance officers, risk officers, finance directors and accountants, company secretaries and all those within the regulated sector. With its uniquely practical approach and hands-on guidance, it should be the first port of call for all those wanting to understand the regulations and the guidance notes. Bazley and Foster bring experience and inside knowledge of the Regulations and potential pitfalls in practice, and provide simple tips to help companies avoid liability for money laundering.

Book Review:

Money Laundering Reporting Officers and others with an interest in the subject of anti-money laundering are fortunate nowadays to have advice available as to how to fulfill their responsibilities from an abundance of publications. The problem is, that the truly useful information or guidance is either difficult to access or is not where you expected it to be. The aptly named "Money laundering: Business Compliance" published by Lexis Nexis and written by Stuart Bazley and Caroline Foster manages to avoid these common pitfalls and provides the MLRO with a surprisingly detailed and accessible source of useable information in comparatively compact dimensions.

The content of the book is simply laid out, with the key issues relating to all the day to day issues that the MLRO is likely to confront being addressed in refreshingly straightforward language. The book includes Chapters on: Client identification; Knowing your client; Internal controls; a risk-based approach to anti-money laundering; suspicious transaction identification and reporting; and staff training and awareness. It also has detailed Chapters on the emerging subjects of dealing with Law enforcement investigations and managing assets recovery. The authors were clearly thinking of the practitioner reader in the compilation of this book, and not just drafting an analysis of the rules. Whilst outlining each area of money laundering compliance in a lucid and practical way, the book makes excellent use of practical examples, and regularly poses questions to stimulate thinking in the reader.

Each Chapter contains thought provoking and at times innovative solutions. Worthy of particular mention are Chapter 8, on the thorny subject of Awareness and training of staff and Chapter 3 on Internal controls.

Chapter 8 sets out advice on making anti-money laundering training interesting, something which trainers and MLROs constantly struggle with. Indeed this chapter goes further than most by talking about enforcing the training obligation, an interesting area the appropriate culture within a firm being key here to ensuring successful staff training on anti money laundering requirements.

Chapter 3 on Internal Controls takes the reader through the regulatory responsibilities including how and why to devise internal money laundering procedures and policies. However, where many text books stop this Chapter goes on to address questions about planning resource, how to manage and lead a team effectively and sets out useful suggestions on how to devise performance measurements to help monitor and track the performance of a money laundering department.

I found that the questioning approach and practical examples through-out the book to be much more useful than the standard repetition of requirements and legislation that appears in so many text books on regulation and anti-money laundering.

In summary, immensely valuable, an excellent read, and recommended as essential reading for every MLRO.

Review by Steve Elkins, Money Laundering Reporting Officer Gartmore Investment Management.

Solicitors and Money Laundering
by Peter Camp

Product Details:

  • Paperback: 288 pages (September 2, 2004)
  • Publisher: Law Society Publications

Solicitors and Money Laundering provides a much needed guide to all of the new anti-money laundering law as well as the latest Law Society guidance. It advises on the practical steps that solicitors can take to ensure that adequate safeguards and systems are in place. The book highlights areas of practice most at risk, and gives practical advice on how to introduce anti-money laundering procedures enabling firms to recognize and report suspicious transactions.

It includes helpful precedents, guidance material and statutory material, such as: a precedent money laundering manual; a client identification form, internal reporting form and NCIS reporting forms; and official NCIS guidance on reporting suspicious transactions.

The Washing Machine: How Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Soils Us
by Nick Kochan

Product Details:

  • Hardcover 256 pages (May 24, 2005)
  • Publisher: Texere Publishing,US

Seasoned investigative journalist and financial expert Nick Kochan takes readers deep inside the world of money laundering — a highly sophisticated, trillion-dollar, global business that poses a serious threat to Western economies.

Profiling the perpetrators and the investigators, Kochan gives a mesmerizing inside look, explaining the methods employed by international criminals and terrorists to turn dirty money into untraceable wealth, as well as examining the methods and resources available to the law enforcement agencies in their fight to stop this corrupt financial pipeline.

But is it a losing battle? Taking readers deep into the heart of the battle, The Washing Machine reveals that the dual forces of globalization and a lack of true international co-operation are playing directly into the hands of the criminals. In the hands of the author, the sophistication of the laundering schemes become understandable and fascinating, and the characters and stories woven into that explanation are vividly brought to life as they engage in operations on an often mind-blowing scale.

Nest of Vipers
Fiction by Linda Davies

Product Details:

  • Paperback 352 pages (April 3, 1995)
  • Publisher: Orion mass market paperback
  • Language: English
  • Category(ies): Fiction , Crime, Thrillers & Mystery

Undercover agent Sarah Jensen is sent to investigate a billion dollar conspiracy whose chief suspects are a government banker, the Mafia & a merchant bank. She is hurled into a vortex of deceit betrayal & murder.

From the Author
The Perfect Financial Crime
"What is the most spectacular financial crime that could be committed?" This was a question that occurred to me in my previous job as a banker. After graduating from Oxford I worked in New York and then London, pursuing deals across Europe and coming into contact with high financiers, politicians and crooks. The scope for crime was immense. One day I sat down and tried to think like a criminal. How would I make a fortune? How could I bridge the gap between the City and the world at large off which it feeds? The result of these musings was Nest of Vipers, a novel in which I show the links between governments, central banks, and crime, and the role that the intelligence services now have in business and finance. The City is a perfect cover for spies.

Not long after Nest of Vipers appeared the subject of financial crime attracted international attention thanks to Nick Leeson and the downfall of Barings Bank. More recently dissaffected British agents have begun to reveal the links between the security services and the banks with allegations that MI6 had a mole in the Bundesbank and that the Russians were spying on banks in the City of London. All this makes Nest of Vipers even more topical now than when it first appeared.


Reviewer: (peterpuchalski@iclway.co.uk) from England
An excellent thriller, this is a book that everyone who works in the city will relate to in one way or another. It makes you want to keep reading just to know what is going to happen next. The author has the best background to portray the storyline with conviction and she makes it feel as if you are actually there. After reading this book I will be sure to read the others. A compelling read. Definitely a book worth taking on your holidays for a bit of escapism.

Reviewer: G B Parfitt from Chesterfield, Derbyshire United Kingdom
Another great book from this author, if you are considering it I would personally recommend it. Linda gives an insight into the banking world - the murkier side without it becomming boring and then the action blows you away!

Butterworths International Guide to Money Laundering Law and Practice, 2nd Edition
by Toby Graham

Product Details:

  • Hardcover (December 1, 2002)
  • Publisher: LexisNexis UK

The Second edition of Butterworths International Guide to Money Laundering Law and Practice provides an in-depth insight into the background of money laundering operations and also offers a greater understanding of the anti-money laundering laws and regulations of the key global financial centres.

A team of expert practitioners from each country has been brought together to offer expert guidance and informed analysis of all aspects of money laundering including compliance, accounting and confiscation issues.

Money Laundering: A Guide for Criminal Investigators
by John Madinger, Sydney A. Zalopany

Product Details:

  • Hardcover 492 pages (March 16, 1999)
  • Publisher: CRC Press

Historic perspective meets current investigative techniques. The crime of money laundering is widespread, not only figuring in obvious cases such as Al Capone's, but in major events as diverse as the Lindbergh baby kidnapping and the Watergate scandal. "Money Laundering" gives law enforcement professionals a clear understanding of money laundering practices, legislation, and investigation.

Two frontline investigators - a narcotics investigator/supervisor, and a special agent for the IRS - have co-authored this authoritative study. Case studies establish a historic perspective on Money Laundering, and the progressive changes in its methods through the years. For today's investigator, the authors also take a broad approach to forfeiture, financial crimes, fraud, and related situations - making the information most valuable and timely.

Book Review:

As a former trial lawyer now working as a Financial Editor for a major European Investment Bank, I found Money Laundering: Guide for Criminal Investigators to be an excellent handbook for understanding the ins and outs of money laundering. The authors do not leave anything to chance, giving clear and precise explanations of even the most simple terms. The history of money laundering is also considered in the first chapters. I had some previous experience studying the subject matter and found that both for myself, as well as for the complete novice, the book is a great primer.

One of the surprises the book contains are the explanations on how banking, real estate and securities industries work as well as simple explanations of accounting methods and balance sheets. These are most useful for those who have not had a formal education in the aforementioned area. In my view, the authors' attitude is to provide not only a primer but a reference book for future use. In this sense it is "The Bible of Money Laundering Investigation Handbooks", giving the basic outlines that an investigator should use, checklists provided help the investigator to keep on track and not get lost when facing the challenges of fighting white collar crime. Sample templates are provided for requesting information as well as a handy glossary.

Some readers could consider this book as "Money Laundering for Dummies", but the aim is to acquire the proper base for future study. As an attorney trained outside the Common Law system, I was able to draw parallelisms between the Continental legal system I studied and the U.S. one. The chapter detailing the different legal forms a business can have, gave me a clear snapshot of what I knew and did not know. Here lies the strength of the book: it is not only of interest to law enforcement & to the judicial branch but also for those of us who work within an industry where compliance is a major issue and where we deal with one or more Regulators.

Although the book gives us a law enforcement perspective, it allows for better compliance at all levels. Recently, a financial investigation on the part of the local Regulator into a "fly by night" market operator revealed it was suspected of being a conduit for money laundering. Being an alumnus of the book, allowed me to get a very clear picture of what the press was referring to when they mentioned layering and placement, brass plate banks and other terms pertaining to these illegal practices. It also proved once again that most journalists do not have the slightest idea of what they are talking about when writing on this fascinating ever- increasingly-important subject.

Review by: Javier Prieto Huber (jphuber@arrakis.es)

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