The Law Society of Scotland has pledged its support for an online system to help solicitors meet anti-money laundering (AML) obligations, launching later this month.
The AML Compliance Solution has been developed by Perth-based Kirklands Business Solutions and is a package of AML training, cloud-based software and ongoing support aimed at SMEs that do not have an in-house compliance team.
Included is a sample policy statement that firms can tailor, an automated sanctions lists checker, electronic ID checks from Equifax and Companies House, and all of the processes and procedures firms require in order to remain compliant and protect themselves from breaches of AML regulations.
The Law Society’s Director of Financial Compliance, Ian Messer, said: “Money laundering compliance represents a challenge for solicitors in Scotland, particularly for smaller firms and sole practitioners.
“We currently offer some assistance to firms meeting AML obligations by providing information and good practice guidance online and through events. We also deal with enquiries from the profession regarding regulatory and practice matters.
“However, day-to-day management of AML compliance can only be handled by the firms themselves, and this product helps them do that by, for instance, setting out a clear compliance process, including ready-made standard documents for completion.”
Kirklands Director, Graham Gibson, added: “By streamlining the process and guiding staff through every step in a transaction, it is intended to dramatically improve the quality of AML compliance, while reducing cost and effort for those who subscribe.
“In consultation with the Society and our network of money laundering reporting officers, the framework will be kept under continuous review to ensure it reflects current best practice.
“By participating in this initiative, Scottish legal firms will not only make it easier for them to comply with the AML regulations, they will also boost Scotland’s reputation on the international stage for creating innovative solutions to tricky problems.”