Compensation & Benefits: OFT takes anti-money laundering (“AML”) role
Some loans made to employees require employers to be licensed under
the Consumer Credit Act 1974 to avoid potential criminal liability and
to be able to enforce the loan. The OFT now requires such employers to
register with it for AML purposes.
The Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) has announced that persons
offering consumer credit to register with it for AML purposes. This
may affect employers who make loans to employees in connection with,
for example, incentive plans or in order to ease employee cash-flow in
connection with adverse international assignment taxation.
Where the period of the loan is more than 12 months or if repayment
is in five or more instalments the loan may be a regulated agreement.
(Please note there are various exemptions from the requirement to
obtain a license but employers would be prudent to check these before
entering into employee loan arrangements. The previous cap of £25,000
on regulated agreements has now been removed (with effect from 6 April
Those companies with existing consumer credit act licences will
have to register by 31 January 2010 pay a fee on registration.
Companies seeking licences will be unable to make regulated loans until
they have been registered (in which case they should apply for a
consumer credit license and AML registration at the same time).
Companies which are already supervised by the Financial Services
Authority for the purposes of the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 or
are “money service businesses” (such as bureaux de changes) are
excepted from the requirement to register.
Quite what AML obligations those companies who have to register will need to fulfil is not clear as yet.
For further information or to discuss the issues raised, please contact Guy Abbiss (firstname.lastname@example.org) on +44 (0) 203 051 5711.
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