LONDON, March 15 Britain will create a new
watchdog to coordinate a currently splintered approach by
professional bodies to detecting money-laundering, the finance
ministry said on Wednesday.
At the moment, 25 associations, most of them representing
accountancy and legal firms, watch out for movements of money
raised through crime, potentially allowing money-launderers to
exploit different approaches, the ministry said.
"The creation of the Office for Professional Body Anti-Money
Laundering Supervision (OPBAS) will ensure consistent high
standards across the regime, whilst imposing the minimum
possible burden on legitimate business," the ministry said.
OPBAS, which will have powers to penalise sectoral bodies
for breaches of anti-money laundering rules, will be housed in
the Financial Conduct Authority, the regulator tasked with
overseeing markets and conduct in the financial system. It will
be funded through a new fee on professional body supervisors.
Britain published updated draft money-laundering regulations
on Wednesday as it sought to bring its rules in line with
international standards, the ministry said.
(Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Alistair Smout)