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NCA Publishes SAR Annual Report

On November 11, the UK Financial Intelligence Unit (UKFIU) of the National Crime Agency (NCA) published its 2019 annual report on the functioning of the Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) regime.

The UKFIU noted an increase in the number of SARs and defense against money laundering (DAML) requests:

  • 478,437 SARs were received and processed by the NCA during 2018-2019, a 3.13 percent increase from the previous year;

  • 34,543 DAML requests were received, a 52.72 percent increase from the previous year; and

  • £131,667,477 was denied to criminals as a result of DAML requests, a 153.66 percent increase from the previous year.

In connection with these increases in volume, the UKFIU noted an increased headcount from 80-118 staff and a planned six-year IT transformation program. In addition, there are planned improvements to information sharing and confidentiality following the publication of the Home Office’s Economic Crime Plan in July 2019.

For the 2019/20 financial year, the UKFIU is developing “targeted outreach” to certain sectors (lawyers, accountants, challenger banks and Fintech companies) to try and improve the number and quality of SARs. The UKFIU will also work with their counterparts in Australia and the Philippines to “improve understanding of the financial flows associated with online child sexual abuse and exploitation.”

The annual report is available here.

©2019 Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

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John Ahern, Financial Attorney, London, Katten Law Firm
Partner

John Ahern, partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP and head of the London Financial Services group, focuses his practice on banking, financial services, UK and European financial markets, and related regulations. His background in private practice and as in-house counsel at a global investment bank provides him with perspective on the unique regulatory issues facing the wholesale and private banking sectors. John advises multilateral trading facilities, broker-dealers and banks on trading, clearing and settlement as well as custody of securities—both physical and...

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Carolyn H. Jackson, International Attorney, Katten Muchin law firm
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Carolyn Jackson is a partner in Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP and is a Registered Foreign Lawyer. She provides US financial regulatory legal advice to a broad range of market participants, including commercial banks, investment banks, investment managers, broker-dealers, electronic trading platforms, clearinghouses, trade associations and over-the-counter derivatives service providers.

Carolyn guides clients in the structuring and offering of complex securities, commodities and derivatives transactions and in complying with US securities and commodities laws and regulations. 

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Nathaniel Lalone, Katten Muchin Law Firm, Financial Institutions Attorney
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Nathaniel Lalone, a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP, has a broad range of experience in the regulation of financial products and financial markets, and frequently provides regulatory and compliance advice to trading venues, clearing houses and buy-side firms active in the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives, futures and securities markets. He is actively involved in advising clients on the implementation of MiFID 2 and MiFIR in the European Union as well as the international reach of US financial services regulation. He also has significant experience with structuring...

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Neil Robson, private equity fund managers counselor, Katten Law Firm, London
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Neil Robson, a regulatory and compliance partner with Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, focuses his practice on counseling hedge and private equity fund managers and other investment advisers on operational, regulatory and compliance issues. He regularly addresses Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and EU authorization and compliance under both the EU Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFM Directive) and MiFID, cross-border issues in the financial services sector, market abuse, anti-money laundering and regulatory capital requirements, formations and buyouts of...

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