Examination of Witness

Part of Financial Services Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:22 pm on 19th November 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Duncan Hames:

Dedicated supervision of the accountancy sector is part of what has got us into this mess of having 25 supervisory bodies. I think one must weigh the benefits of particular sectoral knowledge and some of the issues I raised earlier around potential conflicts of interest and incentives to supervise assertively. As we explained in our report “At your Service”, which was published about this time last year, it is definitely the case that the non-financial sector is very much touched by the money laundering problem. It is not enough to rely on the requirements of banks without raising our defences in other sectors—whether that is accountants, solicitors, estate agents, trust and company formation agents and so forth. In some areas, such as private education or charitable giving, an educational training supportive approach might be appropriate to try to raise standards, but in other areas, as I have outlined, clear financial incentives need to be addressed. A firmer approach to supervision is proving necessary given the findings of, for example, the studies that I cited from HMRC, the SRA and OPBAS.