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WMA’s Financial Crime Conference highlights new regulations

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The Wealth Management Association’s latest Financial Crime Conference in London saw the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) inform delegates of upcoming data protection reforms to address the increasing use of digital and its integration into business development.

Rob Gruppetta, Head of Financial Crime Department, Investment, Wholesale & Specialist Supervision Division, FCA said: "We want to work together with industry, other regulators and government, both in the UK and internationally, to fight financial crime. But we also want to minimise the unintended consequences of regulation."

Over the last year there have been 3.6 million instances of fraud, 2.5 million of which were linked to bank and credit accounts, Gruppetta said. He further highlighted that cybercrime remains one of the FCA's top seven priorities. In this vein, he pointed to their recently launched ScamSmart campaign, designed to create awareness of financial fraud. The interactive warning list tool has received more than 35,000 checks in the past three months.

Regarding current Money Laundering regulation, the Chair of the Joint Money Laundering Steering Group (JMLSG) Louise Stanway, told the audience that the group remains focused on updating guidance ahead of the Fourth Money Laundering Directive implementation. "We are will be working on consulting on our proposed Guidance changes after the Treasury publish their consultation on the draft UK Regulations," Stanway said.

James McMillan,  Criminal Law Specialist at Maclay Murray & Spens offered insight on the measures being put in place regarding domestic and corporate offences and tax evasion.  Craig Kennedy, Head of Fraud, Investigations and Business Crime, Maclay Murray & Spens spoke further about the litigation risks presented by cyber crime and how companies can dilute the effect of any cyber attacks. "Cybercrime is a Tier 1 risk, listed on a par with terrorism", Kennedy said.

Discussing recent high profile attacks on companies such as Sony, Talk Talk and the impact the attacks had, Kennedy quoted the FBI: "There are two types of companies: ones that have been attacked, and those who do not know it yet." Discussion highlighted the main four types of attacks faced by firms – data extraction, data destruction, data manipulation and data denial and the impact these attacks have. "The integrity of a company is at stake along with the financial losses associated with disruption in operations faced by associated partners and clients".

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