70% of accountants fear money laundering, report finds

Concerns about money laundering have risen 70% among accountants since the Russian events and sanctions began, according to a new report. According to First AML, 75% of accounting firms have made anti-money laundering a priority in the past year.

First AML, an end-to-end anti-money laundering software, surveyed 200 accountants and lawyers in the UK to learn about attitudes towards current AML compliance and procedures.

While 53% of respondents identified a suspected case of money laundering in the last three years, 24% having identified more than one, only 45% of companies were “completely confident” in their anti-money laundering procedures. money laundering.

Some 91% also believe that “companies should embrace online technologies to facilitate compliance with AML regulations”. The report also found that 87% of respondents are putting more rigid policies in place to comply with and adhere to AML regulations.

According to 68% of accountants surveyed, the reason money laundering is on the corporate agenda is “the focus on client transparency and ethical client onboarding.” Next come external risks (50%), such as the situation in Russia, as well as an increased risk of fines (46%).

According to First AML, 76% of respondents believe the threat will continue to grow over the next three years. To address the threat of money laundering, 80% of respondents said they are turning to technology to become more compliant, while 53% said they are turning to outsourcing services and 28% to hiring .

When asked what the main causes of concern were, the growth of online transactions (38%) was the most frequent answer. This is followed by the growth of unethical business practices (23%) and the situation in Russia (18%).

Simon Luke, Country Director of First AML in the UK, said: “Even before the Ukrainian conflict and the Russian sanctions, the UK was recognized as a hub for Russian money laundering. Accountants and lawyers need fast, easy, and accurate ways to onboard clients and conduct financial transactions without fear.

“However, this is an industry-wide problem affecting not just businesses, but also the economy and everyday Britons. That’s where First’s technology comes in. AML, especially as countries around the world demand stricter compliance in businesses.

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