Financial Conduct Authority
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FCA seeks views regarding the Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched a consultation regarding the government-proposed Office for Professional Body AML Supervision (OPBAS).

The consultation sets out draft expectations about how professional body supervisors can meet their obligations in relation to AML supervision.

In March 2017, the government announced its intention to create OPBAS as a new function within the FCA. The government has proposed that OPBAS oversees the adequacy of the anti-money laundering supervisory arrangements of 22 professional bodies. On 20 July 2017, the government published draft regulations that will give powers and responsibilities to OPBAS.

Megan Butler, Executive Director of Supervision – Investment, Wholesale and Specialists Division at the FCA, said:

“The government asked the FCA to be responsible for reviewing the quality of AML supervision carried out by professional body supervisors. The aim of OPBAS will be to ensure consistency and quality and to drive up standards across all professional body AML supervisors in the UK.”

OPBAS’s approach will be to:

  • Develop a sound understanding of the workings of the different bodies and sectors they supervise
  • Adopt a risk-based approach that concentrates its supervisory resources where the risk is greatest
  • Liaise with other bodies with oversight roles for the professions to share good practice and avoid supervisory conflicts

The FCA expects OPBAS to be up and running by the beginning of 2018 and for it to operate within the FCA’s existing governance arrangements. It will charge professional body supervisors a fee to recover its running costs. The FCA will consult on an approach to levying fees as part of the FCA’s annual consultation on fees in due course.

Notes to editors

  1. The 22 professional bodies are: 

Association of Accounting Technicians
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
Association of International Accountants
Association of Taxation Technicians
Chartered Institute of Legal Executives
Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
Chartered Institute of Taxation
Council for Licensed Conveyancers
Faculty of Advocates
Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury
General Council of the Bar / Bar Standards Board
General Council of the Bar of Northern Ireland
Insolvency Practitioners Association
Institute of Certified Bookkeepers
Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales    
Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland
Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland
Institute of Financial Accountants
International Association of Bookkeepers
Law Society / Solicitors Regulation Authority
Law Society of Northern Ireland
Law Society of Scotland

  1. The FCA’s consultation on a sourcebook for professional body supervisors on anti-money laundering supervision.
  2. The government’s OPBAS draft regulations and consultation(link is external).
  3. The government’s original announcement that it will create OPBAS(link is external).


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