This is the seventh Annual Report of the Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) Regime Committee, and the final one recording progress of the UK Financial Intelligence Unit (UKFIU) under the governance of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). On 7 October 2013, SOCA ceased to exist and the UKFIU became part of the Intelligence Hub of the newly formed National Crime Agency (NCA). Although this report is published by the NCA, it refers to the reporting period of October 2012 to September 2013 under the management of SOCA.
The format of recent Annual Reports followed the main aims of a three-year strategy set for the regime in 2009. These aims were:
- Appropriate SARs to be submitted by the full range of reporting sectors.
- Maximising the use of information provided by reporters while ensuring proportionality.
- Supporting and enhancing the technical capabilities and experience of all SARs Regime participants.
- Continuing improvement of the governance and transparency of the regime.
As this strategy concluded in 2012, and with the establishment of the NCA on the horizon, it was agreed by the Committee that setting a further strategy would not be appropriate until the NCA structures, roles and functions had been more clearly defined. It was agreed that an interim plan which focused on maintaining business as usual, with a view to ensuring a smooth transition into the NCA, would be appropriate.
Business aims underscoring the UKFIU’s activity would be:
- Continued engagement with end users and the reporting sectors.
- Continued focus on the resilience of ELMER1 and work towards a subsequent replacement.
- Contribute to the development of the national and international operating and legislative environment influencing money laundering and terrorist financing, ensuring that the UKFIU is well placed upon creation of the NCA.