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Financial sanctions

Financial sanctions are restrictions put in place by the UN or UK to achieve a specific foreign policy or national security objective. They can limit the provision of certain financial services and restrict access to financial markets, funds and economic resources.

The transition period ended on 31st December 2020. The UK is no longer implementing EU sanctions. All sanctions regimes will now be implemented through UK regulations.

In the UK you are legally required to report to the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) if, as a relevant institution, business or profession, you know or suspect that a breach of financial sanctions has occurred.

External accountants are considered relevant professions under financial sanctions legislation. See OFSI guidance for more information on your reporting obligations and how to report to OFSI.

What are financial sanctions?

Financial sanctions are restrictions put in place by the UN or UK to achieve a specific foreign policy or national security objective. They can limit the provision of certain financial services and restrict access to financial markets, funds and economic resources.  

Please note, financial sanction checks should not be confused with standard anti-money laundering (AML) checks as AML checks do not screen the client against the OFSI list. 

Who is subject to financial sanctions?

OFSI has published a consolidated list of asset freeze targets to reflect the UK designations made under Sanctions Act Regulations. The list contains a range of information to aid identification of designated persons such as aliases, date of birth and last known address.

Financial sanctions which relate to a specific country or terrorist group are known as ‘regimes’. You can find the specific regulations and designated persons for each regime imposed in the UK from financial sanctions targets by regime

OFSI has published a bridging document for those who wish to use it, to help facilitate sanctions screening as a result of the changes to the Consolidated List made at the end of the transition period.

Further information

 Source: OFSI Financial Sanctions guidance www.gov.uk