The 5th EU Directive is due to be implemented in the UK, 10 January 2020.
Its looming transposition into UK legislation as well as FATF (Financial Action Task Force) recommendations have sparked a recent regulatory process change within the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)
The SRA state they will require those applying to be a Beneficial Owner, Officer or Manager (BOOMs) to undergo a criminal record check. This will be to ensure that those applying for these influential roles do not possess any convictions which are not spent.
In practice, this means that anyone, within an SRA regulated firm, who applies for approval to become a BOOM for the first time or moving firm will need to get a basic DBS check and provide it to the regulatory body.
This new DBS provision has been added as a requirement to the SRA’s assessment of character suitability. Under their newly published Standards & Regulations Guidance, details can be found which show the SRA’s requirement for external screening, particularly criminal history screening, of those applying to be approved as an owner, manager or compliance officer of a firm.
The results of the basic DBS are to act as ‘evidence of suitability,’ and will be used by the SRA when determining whether an individual is ‘fit & proper’ for the role at hand. This is a positive reinforcement of regulatory compliance to ensure those appointed within key roles do not have past convictions which would bar them.
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