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FIS Horizons

2018 is likely to be another eventful year for the FIS sector. Across the world, we're facing change of every order; the question is how you deal with it?

Financial crime awareness

By Claire Lipworth

Market manipulation and AML remain key focus areas for the FCA's Enforcement and Markets Oversight Division (EMO). Against the background of the mutual evaluation of the UK's AML and CTF framework by FATF there has been much closer liaison between the FCA and other agencies, including the SFO and NCA - and even some joint development of money laundering cases. The FCA's evolving approach to investigations means that while the past year has seen a dearth of public outcomes, there has been a huge increase, both in the number of investigations opened and individuals being interviewed under caution, many in relation to distinctly non-egregious behaviour. This approach reflects the fact that EMO is no longer focused on cherry-picking cases designed to send new messages to the industry, but instead wants to make its presence felt, patrolling the waterfront, with a zero-tolerance approach to breaches of any kind. Unfortunately, more investigations without more resources means that progress is often extremely slow.

HMRC has also flexed its muscles in championing a new corporate 'failure to prevent' offence. Introduced in September last year, this is designed to punish firms that do not have procedures in place to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion by associated persons. The proposal to extend this model of corporate liability to failures to prevent fraud, false accounting and market abuse, among others, has not gone away despite the apparent tussling between Government departments. So watch this space.

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