Money Laundering Laws

In this article, please find the information provided in the e-mail sent to all client’s with regards to the new Money Launder Laws.

Changes that have been made

The first bit of information that you need to be aware of is something that we have been expecting for several years, and we are very happy about. Bookkeepers, indeed any business that offers financial services in any way, are now classed as a “regulated profession”. This means that to legally offer such services, Bookkeepers (individually) must now have a valid practicing certificate issued by a supervisory body registered with HM Treasury or be registered directly with HMRC. Ihelm Enterprises has had a valid practicing certificate for several years through my membership with the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers. For reference, my membership number is 61153985 and my practice number is¬†304657.

Whilst this doesn’t mean there will be any changes in the services we offer, it does mean that the industry as a whole is now answerable to HM Treasury and the government under several new legislations – the prime one is the Money Laundering Act that was passed in December 2007. Our delay in implementing this fully has been due to awaiting the Act to be interpreted by the associations and the pertinent parts to be disseminated to ourselves.

This does mean that Ihelm Enterprises must take more responsibility for understanding your business finances and you, our client, in order to protect you, ourselves and the government from illegal activities that can occur.

The Money Laundering Law (in simplistic terms)

There are three principal money laundering offences which are contained in sections 327, 328 and 329 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

There are also similar offences created under the Terrorism Act 2000 – section 15, 16, 17, and 18.

Depending on the type of business that you are, we will require different things – these are listed below – along with the reason for us requiring these items. Unfortunately, if we cannot obtain these items from yourself than by law, we may have to terminate your contract with us. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

If you are a Sole Trader/Partnership:

If you are in a partnership we will require all of the information below for each partner.

1) Please confirm your Home Address and if application your Trading Address if different:

2) Size and Sources of your capital to date and any future sources or predictions for your capital. This relates to any money you invest into the business either your own funds or from borrowing it from other sources.

3) The size of your personal income and source in the past, and predicted personal income in the future. If you are employed by another business, alongside running your own business, you will need to provide information relating to your earnings from the other business.

4) Confirm the type of business you are in, and the sector your business is in.

5) Have you ever been subject to bankruptcy proceedings? If so, can you give some details?

6) Have you ever been disqualified as a director of a company?

7) Can you confirm that you have registered with HMRC as a sole trader?

We are required to see proof of identity as part of the Money Laundering Regulations. This is because we have to indicate that we have identified yourselves and that you are who you say you are.

We will need you to send us either 1 piece of photo identity and an additional piece of evidence, or 1 piece of non-photo identity, proof of address or date of birth PLUS an additional piece of evidence.

List 1: Evidence of Identity

Acceptable Photo Identity:

i) valid passport; or

ii) valid photocard driving license (full or provisional); or

iii) national identity card (non-UK nationals issued by EEA member states and Switzerland); or

Acceptable Non-photo evidence of identity:

Documents issued by a government department, incorporating the person’s name and residential address or their date of birth,

i) a current UK full driving license old version (not provisional licenses); or

ii) evidence of entitlement to a state or local authority funded benefit (including housing benefit and council tax benefit), tax credit, pension, educational or another grant; or

iii) documents issued by HMRC, such as PAYE coding notices and statements of account (NB: employer issued documents such as P60s are not acceptable); or

iv)end of year tax deduction certificates

List 2: Evidence of address or date of birth

i) instrument of a court appointment (such as a grant of probate, bankruptcy); or

ii) current council tax demand letter or settlement; or

iii) current (within the last 3 months bank statements, or credit/debit card statements issued by a regulated financial sector firm in the UK, EU, or JMSLG equivalent jurisdiction (but not those printed off the internet); or

iv) a file note of a visit by a member of the firm to the address concerned (“home visit”); or

v) an electoral register search showing residence in the current or most recent electoral year (can be done via; or

vi) a recent (last available) utility bill (gas, water, electricity, telephone – not mobile phone bills); it must be a bill or statement of account (not correspondence); or

vii) valid photocard driving license (full or provisional); or

viii) a current UK full driving license old version (not provisional licenses); or

ix) evidence of entitlement to a state or local authority funded benefit (including housing benefit and council tax benefit), tax credit, pension, educational or another grant; or

x) documents issued by HMRC, such as PAYE coding notices and statements of account (NB: employer issued documents such as P60sare not acceptable); or

xi) a solicitor’s letter confirming recent house purchase or land registry confirmation (you must also verify the previous address)

If you are a Registered Company (e.g. Ltd):

1) Please confirm your Registered Company Name (as appears on Companies House):

2) Please confirm the company registered address and the main trading address if different:

3) Please, can you let us know the basic structure of your company. E.g. who controls and manages it – directors, shadow directors etc.

4) Has the company been audited in the past, if so were the accounts qualified? If they were qualified can you let us know who qualified the accounts?

5) In order to ensure we comply with the regulations, we require the following information if available. If it isn’t available please let us know why. We will return all documents by signed-for delivery within 2 days):

i) Certificate of Incorporation

ii) List of Shareholders

iii) List of people who have voting rights with their shares in the company

iv) Your position in the company

v) Your name

6) The main source of income for the company:

We will need to take copies of the information and store it in your client file. Every year we will be asking you to verify the information is still correct and to notify us of any changes.

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