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HMRC internal manual

Money Laundering Regulations: Compliance

Legislation: Powers and safeguards - powers under MLR 2007

The specific powers in the Money Laundering Regulations and Transfer of Funds Regulations include powers to request information and powers of entry to premises and inspection of records. They also cover circumstances when we can require the attendance of a relevant person at a meeting.

In most circumstances it will not be necessary to evoke these powers and officers should contact the business by phone to arrange a visit at a mutually convenient time.

There are clear advantages doing this, even if it results in some delay, these include:

  • making sure all the relevant individuals are present
  • making sure all the records and documents are available for inspection
  • making sure that the business has made arrangements so that the relevant individuals can focus on the visit without this affecting the business.

MSBs may have large amounts of money on the premises and may not allow entry unless they know the name of the person who will be visiting and have a contact number where they can verify their identity.

Once a meeting has been arranged Regional Compliance Officers (RCOs) should write to the business confirming:

  • the date and time of the visit
  • who they want to speak to
  • the information they will require
  • the records and documents that they want to see.
  • the names and contact numbers of the officers.

Every officer visiting should identify themselves on arrival and produce their identity card.

In exceptional circumstances, for example, where various attempts have been made to arrange a visit but the business seeks to avoid a visit then officers may visit without an appointment. Any unannounced visits must, however be approved by the Senior Officer. On arrival officers should give a reason for the unannounced visit and identify themselves. Further details about unannounced visits can be found at MLR3C13000.