As I was scrolling through Wednesday's tech news, this headline from pressdispensary.co.uk caught my eye, "Money-Launderer Clears Up Compliance for Professionals." Intrigued, I clicked through, thinking maybe a reformed criminal was offering seminars to financial institutions -- a primer, perhaps, on how to spot problem transactions and what to do once one is identified.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I found this press release from a compliance consultancy offering a package designed to help those subject to the U.K.'s new Money Laundering Regulations 2007 get their arms around what is required. The package includes an 80-page policies and procedures manual, Web-based training for as many as 10 employees, updates on the regulations, and due diligence forms.
The tagline on the Web site for the consultancy, Money-Launderer Ltd., is "Helping you comply with the law." It's a great concept, and the services are certainly needed given that failure to comply could result in two years in prison. And, as company founder Dr. Joe Tanega points out in the press release:
...Revenue & Customs and the supervisory bodies now have the authority to turn up on your doorstep to audit your compliance with the new anti-money laundering requirements.
Before, he says, a company could maybe get away with "photocopying a few passports and electricity bills" as long as nothing major went wrong with clients. Apparently that approach won't cut it anymore.
I'm sure the auditors, tax advisers, insolvency specialists, financial institutions and all the others subject to the new regulations will be grateful for whatever help they can get. Here's what throws me a little: Isn't it odd to name a consultancy Money-Launderer when it's a business focused on preventing money laundering?
Then again, it made me click through to the Web site. Maybe that's the point.