By Michelle Rowe, Senior Accountant at Hive Business.
For those of you that are not box-set fans, Walter White is a character in a popular TV series called “Breaking Bad”. Walter is a high-school chemistry teacher, a family man and unfortunately, he is terminally ill. To ensure that his family is well provided for after he dies, he takes a rather treacherous path and turns to the manufacture of drugs (please do not try this at home!). Money turns out to be the least of his problems as he crosses paths with horrifying drug lords and various life-threatening situations. I’m not going to give the ending away but there are many ways that Walter attempts to conceal the proceeds from his illegal dealings, none of which end well! Obviously, this is a very extreme example but, as accountants, legislation has now been around for a while tasking us to be mindful of money laundering and potentially suspicious activity.
In June of this year, new enhanced anti money laundering regulations came into force where the focus was redrawn to the risks involved with our business relationships. Essentially, we must know who our clients are and how they are earning their money. So that’s why we ask so many questions at the beginning of our relationship, not only so that we can have a better understanding of your business needs, but so that we can comply with these regulations.
Hence why we need to verify your identity, the identity of those with significant control of your limited company (if applicable) as well assess the risks involved in your own business and maintain an ongoing vigilance.
The regulations work in conjunction with the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 which states that:
“A person commits an offence if he knows, suspects or has reasonable grounds for knowing or suspecting that another person is engaged in money laundering, and he does not make the required disclosure to a nominated officer as soon as is practicable after the information comes to him.”
So we are therefore sorry to say, it’s our legal responsibility to be on alert for any money laundering activity and report it as necessary.
We know that you’re very unlikely to be the next Walter White, but at least you now know why we ask so many questions and why we act professionally when conducting our business relationships.
If you have any questions about becoming a client of Hive Business, please call 01872 300232 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.