If something doesn’t feel right about a transaction or client, then you need to act. Depending on what the risk is will determine you first steps.
If you believe that you need to report crime or matters relating to immediate risk to others, then you should be calling the police on 999 or to report a fraud, contact Action Fraud 0300 123 2040.
If it your client is being evasive or contradictory, or the transaction is unusual in size, nature or frequency, then flag it up via a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) to the National Crime Agency (NCA).
The SARs regime is there for reporting knowledge or suspicions of money laundering, or belief or suspicions relating to terrorist financing. However, you may still have to report the matter via other routes to ensure the right information gets to the right organisation. Remember that if the funds involved are not yet the proceeds of crime then it is not money laundering, but attempted fraud.
Where you do report a crime alongside a SAR it is good practice to include the crime reference and the organisation details in the SAR.
Guidance on who exactly to report to can be found on the NCA website. It will also provide you with guidance on completing SARs, the making of consent requests and Defence against Money Laundering. The SAR Online Quick Start Guide will help you understand how to submit a SAR.
The UK Financial Intelligence Unit Signpost document signals the location of the latest SAR guidance and shows some useful links to help SAR reporters to build knowledge relevant to SAR management.
Remember though that the NCA is not a crime reporting agency.
If you are concerned about money laundering within your firm, then you should make a whistleblowing report. Our Whistleblowing Policy sets out what makes a report a whistleblow, the support available and how we will help you.