Money Laundering: A Concise Guide for All Business

By Doug Hopton

Published by Ashgate Publishing, March 2006, $99.95, ISBN: 0-566-08639-5; 192 pages (hardcover)

Reviewed by Jeffry R. Haber

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NOVEMBER 2006 - In the April 2006 CPA Journal, I reviewed Guide to U.S. Anti–Money Laundering Requirements: Frequently Asked Questions, available as a free download at Having the book available online seemed to make sense in areas such as anti–money laundering and terrorist financing, where new rules and regulations are promulgated at a relatively fast pace and the ability to update the content regularly is an asset. I was curious to see how a hardcover edition such as Money Laundering: A Concise Guide for All Business would handle the accumulating body of regulation.

The first thing that struck me about the book was that it is a United Kingdom edition. The author has extensive background in banking and anti–money laundering operations and has formed a consulting company to help companies with the prevention of financial crime, fraud, and money laundering, and in some ways the book is as much marketing piece as useful reference.

My concern about whether a hard-copy medium can keep up with a fast-changing industry was validated early. On page 21, talking about countries that are on the “Non-Co-Operative Countries and Territories (NCCT) List,” the author states:

In the review of October 2005 the list was reduced to only the following two countries:

  • Myanmar
  • Nigeria

It then goes on to say:

These reviews will continue. While there are now only three countries on the list … [emphasis added]

I do not know what the third country is or why it wasn’t listed. Nigeria came off the list in June 2006, after the book had been published. Readers should be aware that this field may change faster than publishers can keep up with.

As a historical reference, the book is quite good in the early pages, taking the reader through the various conventions, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), European and United States legislation, and various regulations and requirements. The book also includes useful appendices. The book would be more useful for a U.K. than a U.S. business because of the lengthy and detailed discussion of U.K. regulations.

Current trends and expansions of the Bank Secrecy Act and the Patriot Act, such as new requirements for money-service businesses and, more recently, for the jewelry industry, are not covered at all. This limitation in geographic scope and timeliness makes the book ill suited for the U.S. For example, chapter titles include the following, all of them U.K.-specific:

  • “U.K. Legislation”
  • “Proceeds of Crime Act 2002”
  • “Proceeds of Crime Act 2002—Other Areas”
  • “Terrorism Act 2000—Requirements and Offences”
  • “Money Laundering Regulations 2003”
  • “How to Implement in Practice the U.K. Anti Money Laundering Legislation and Regulations—General Review.”

Ignoring the fact that the book was out dated before it hit the shelves and is geared to the British marketplace, it still could be a useful primer for someone new to compliance with anti–money laundering regulations or for a CPA who has a client who has recently come under anti–money laundering regulations. The book includes a lengthy discussion of “know your customer” best practices, record-keeping, and reporting practices that translate well to almost any business in any country.

In summary, as a historical archive of the development of international anti–money laundering regulations, the book is quite good. It covers and discusses certain basic elements of an anti–money laundering program. Certainly for any business located in the United Kingdom, or having U.K. operations, the book will prove useful.

Jeffry R. Haber, PhD, CPA, is an associate professor of accounting at the Hagan School of Business of Iona College, New Rochelle, N.Y.






















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