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AML TRAINING AND AWARENESS

Who should be trained and who is responsible for it?

What should be included in the training?

When should training be completed?

Who should be trained and who is responsible for it?

The regulations require that all ‘relevant employees’ (including partners) are made aware of MLTF law and are trained regularly to recognise and deal with transactions which may be related to MLTF, as well as to identify and report anything that gives grounds for suspicion (see Section six of this guidance).

Thought should also be given to who else might need AML training.

A designated person should be made responsible for the detail of AML training. This could be the MLRO or a member of senior management. There should be a mechanism to ensure that relevant employees complete their AML training promptly.

Someone accused of a failure-to-disclose offence has a defence if:

they did not know or suspect that someone was engaged in money laundering even though they should have; but

their employer had failed to provide them with the appropriate training.

This defence –that the relevant employee did not receive the required AML training –is likely to put the business at risk of prosecution for a regulatory breach.

What should be included in the training?

Training can be delivered in several different ways: face-to-face, self-study, e-learning, video presentations, or a combination of all of them.

The programme itself should include:

an explanation of the law within the context of the business’s own commercial activities;

so-called ‘red flags’ of which relevant employees should be aware when conducting business, which would cover all aspects of the MLTF procedures, including CDD (for example those that might prompt doubts over the veracity of evidence provided) and SARs (for example what might prompt suspicion);

and how to deal with transactions that might be related to MLTF (including how to use internal reporting systems), the business’s expectations of confidentiality, and how to avoid tipping off (see Section six of this guidance);

The relevant data protection requirements

Training programmes should be tailored to each business area and cover the business’ procedures so that relevant employees understand the MLTF risks posed by the specific services they provide and types of client they deal with, and so are able to appreciate, on a case-by-case basis, the approach they should be taking. Furthermore, businesses should aim to create an AML culture in which relevant employees are always alert to the risks of MLTF and habitually adopt a risk based approach to CDD.

Records should be kept showing who has received training, the training received and when training took place. These records should be used so as to inform when additional training is needed –e.g. when the MLTF risk of a specific business area changes, or when the role of a relevant employee changes.

A system of tests, or some other way of confirming the effectiveness of the training, should be considered.

The overall objective of training is not for relevant employees to develop a specialist knowledge of criminal law. However, they should be able to apply a level of legal and business knowledge that would reasonably be expected of someone in their role and with their experience, particularly when deciding whether to make an internal SAR to the MLRO.

When should training be completed?

Businesses need to make sure that new relevant employees are trained promptly.

The frequency of training events can be influenced by changes in legislation, regulation, professional guidance, case law and judicial findings (both domestic and international), the business’ risk profile, procedures, and service lines.

It may not be necessary to repeat a complete training programme regularly, but it may be appropriate to provide relevant employees with concise updates to help refresh and expand their knowledge and to remind them how important effective anti-money laundering work is.

In addition to training, businesses are encouraged to mount periodic MLTF awareness campaigns to keep relevant employees alert to individual and firm-wide responsibilities.

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By HMRC