Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill: Lords third reading

Money on a clothes line
25 January 2018

The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill had its third reading, a chance to 'tidy up' the bill and make changes, in the Lords on Wednesday 24 January.

Members discussed subjects including a register of beneficial owners of overseas entities and regulations on money laundering and terrorist financing.

Following the completion of third reading, the bill will now go to the House of Commons for its consideration.

Lords report stage day two: Wednesday 17 January

Members discussed subjects including anti-money laundering checks on companies and the ownership of British property by companies and legal entities based outside the UK.

There were also two divisions (votes) on proposed changes (amendments) to the bill.

Members discussed a change which would prevent the appropriate government minister from introducing regulations to create new criminal offences in regards to money laundering and terrorist financing.

264 members were in favour of this amendment, with 185 against, and so the change was made.

The second vote was on the insertion of a new clause regarding public registers of beneficial ownerships of companies based in the British Overseas Territories.

The clause would require the government minister to:

  • provide assistance to the governments of six British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean and North Atlantic to establish public registers of company ownership, in order to prevent money laundering
  • to prepare and implement an Order in Council no later than 1 January 2020, requiring the six territories to adopt their registers, if those governments have not already done so by that date.

The clause would also define the terms of these public registers as being records which, in the minister’s opinion, are broadly equivalent to provisions in the Companies Act 2006 regarding information about people with significant control.

201 members were in favour of the new clause, with 211 against, so this change was not made.

Lords report stage day one: Monday 15 January

Members discussed a range of subjects including financial sanctions, court reviews of decisions on sanctions and licences for government funded humanitarian programmes.

There were also two divisions (votes) on proposed changes (amendments) to the bill.

Members considered a change that would increase the considerations for ministers making sanction regulations to include:

  • promoting the resolution of armed conflicts or the protection of civilians in conflict zones
  • promoting compliance with international humanitarian and human rights law
  • contributing to multilateral efforts to prevent the spread and use of weapons and materials of mass destruction
  • promoting respect for human rights, democracy, the rule of law and good governance

235 members were in favour of this amendment, with 188 against, and so the change was made.

The next vote was to remove a paragraph in Clause 16 of the bill, which deals with the government’s power to enforce sanctions by replicating existing legal frameworks.

The paragraph in question would have allowed for the use of secondary legislation to create new offences and guidelines on how such offences should be dealt with, in particular regard to defence and evidence.

209 members voted in favour of removing the paragraph and 192 voted against, and so the change was made.

Lords committee stage day four: Tuesday 12 December

Members discussed subjects including the anti-corruption strategy, counterterrorism sanctions regulations and scrutiny of regulations.  

Lords committee stage day three: Wednesday 6 December

Members discussed a range of subjects including money laundering, terrorist financing and how owners of UK businesses and properties are identified when they are registered overseas.

Lords committee stage day two: Wednesday 29  November

Members discussed subjects including designated persons and the foreign policy objectives of the UK government.

Lords committee stage day one: Tuesday 21 November

Members discussed a range of subjects, including the prevention of acts contravening international conflict law and the legitimate travel of persons recognised under the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.

Lords second reading: Wednesday 1 November

Members discussed the key points raised by the bill, including imposing non-UN sanctions and the process for the making of anti-money laundering regulations.

Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill

This bill will aim to:

  • create powers for the government to make regulations to impose sanctions
  • allow financial, immigration, trade, aircraft and shipping sanctions to be imposed
  • allow for regulations to create exceptions and licences to allow activities to take place that would otherwise be prohibited or restricted by sanctions 
  • have ministerial and judicial review processes to allow individuals and organisations to challenge sanctions imposed on them
  • allow regulations to be made to update existing provisions on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing, particularly the Money Laundering Regulations 2017, to be updated after the UK’s exit from the EU.

Further Information

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