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The UK Financial Crime Legislation framework

MEMA has produced this financial crime series for firms, to understand the steps they can take to reduce their financial crime risk. It does not include all the financial crime risks a firm may face but provides an understanding of FCA expectations in this complex field.


Over the next few weeks, we are releasing sections to assist you in dealing with Financial Crime. The posts will cover key areas such as sanctions, money laundering, CDD and Governance. We will shortly be releasing our ebook which covers a lot of the topics.




In our follow up series, to our Financial Conduct Authority handbook rules and guidance, we will cover an overview of the UK Financial Crime Legislation Framework.

Primary Legislation

The acts and regulations set out the lawful requirements, accepted standards and also the offences for non-compliance in the UK. It is important to note that whilst some of the legislation is transposed from EU directives, the majority of the legislation are purely acts made by the UK Government. An example of this is the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (“FSMA 2000”) which sets out how the UK financial services marketplace should function and lawfully appoints the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority as regulatory bodies. It also sets their ‘statutory objectives’.


The Proceeds of Crime Act and the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds Regulation 2017 are the principal laws used to prosecute money laundering.