The anti Money Laundering Regulations (MLR) were introduced to protect UK financial services and related service providers. As the name implies, they are intended to prevent the laundering of money between businesses and individuals. They came into effect in December 2007 and have since been updated with several amendments.
Whilst you may associate banks and other financial institutions with these regulations, there are many other service providers that need to adhere to the requirements. Any business that falls under the regulations is legally responsible for implementing MLR policies. They must be registered with an authorised body (for example the FSA) or HM Revenue & Customs.
In simple terms, the regulations exist to prevent people or business from ‘cleaning’ money that may have been obtained illegally. By passing money through one or more businesses it becomes difficult for the authorities to trace the origin of the money. Making service providers responsible for identifying clients and implementing good practices, laundering money become more difficult.