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Money Laundering Regulation Going Mad

Here’s a real experience from one of our clients.

A father guaranteed his daughter’s mortgage. He was already the client of the bank concerned. The bank insisted that the daughter receive independent legal advice – fair enough. So, in the first instance the bank carried out its anti-money laundering procedures for the daughter. Then the solicitors acting for the bank decided to carry out their anti-money laundering procedures for the daughter. If that appears to be a little bit over pedantic, wait. The bank’s solicitor then decided to carry out their anti-money laundering procedures for the father although he was already a client of the bank.

Now I am not against anti-money laundering procedures, I think in principle they are a useful tool in the fight against financial crime but I am wondering how much time and effort is wasted in the economy because people apply these rules without thinking. I also wonder if the Russian oligarchs who are buying big properties and businesses in the UK had to undergo the same procedures (can you imagine Abramovich being asked for his driving licence and a utility bill when he bought Chelsea Football Club?).

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