3 February 2015
Amendments to the Serious Crime Bill 2014 proposed by MP Karen Bradley include a clause to be inserted into the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA); to protect those who submit a suspicious activity report (SAR) from civil liability.
The Bill is some way from becoming a reality and there is no guarantee yet that this clause would be approved as part of it. But if the clause was to become law, it may well help banks and other institutions meet their reporting obligations under POCA.
There is no doubt that anything that encourages banks to file a SAR without fear of legal action from clients – as a result of any transaction delays – can only make the system more effective and remove potential sagas such as Shah and others V HSBC Private Bank (UK) Limited (2010) EWCA Civ 31 and (2012) EWHC 1283 (QB) 201.
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