The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) was established within the Treasury today (31 March 2016).
OFSI will provide a high-quality service to the private sector, working closely with law enforcement to help ensure that financial sanctions are properly understood, implemented and enforced.
This will ensure financial sanctions make the fullest possible contributions to the UK’s foreign policy and national security goals and help maintain the integrity of and confidence in the UK financial services sector.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said:
Financial sanctions are a hugely important foreign policy and national security tool. Their effective implementation and enforcement are vital to their success.
OFSI will be a centre of excellence for financial sanctions, raising awareness and providing clear guidance to promote compliance with financial sanctions, providing a professional service to the public and industry, and working closely with other parts of government to ensure that sanctions breaches are rapidly detected and effectively addressed.
Establishing OFSI fulfils the Chancellor’s commitment to establish a new body to deal with financial sanctions by the end of this financial year.
The government is also legislating to ensure that suitable remedies are available to address breaches of financial sanctions. Provisions in the Policing and Crime Bill include a range of new administrative penalties, including monetary penalties, and an increase in the maximum custodial sentence for breaching financial sanctions to seven years on conviction on indictment (or six months imprisonment on summary conviction).
The bill also provides for the swifter implementation of UN financial sanctions.