|Compliance with AMLATFA 2001|
Compliance with Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001
Since September 2004, legal firms have been gazetted as reporting institutions under the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 (“AMLATFA”).
Bank Negara Malaysia (“BNM”), the competent authority under AMLATFA, conducted on-site examinations on selected legal firms from 16 Aug to 2 Sept 2010, and found legal firms’ compliance with AMLATFA and the guidelines issued thereunder to be weak.
To improve the level of compliance, Bar Council has formulated a checklist to assist Members in working their way through the “Know Your Client” guidelines issued by BNM pursuant to AMLATFA. Prior to opening a client’s file, Members are advised to ask certain questions on the proposed transactions that their legal firms have been instructed to act upon. Members should go through the items listed in the checklist to ensure that all necessary information has been obtained. This checklist should be kept with every new client’s file and shown to BNM during an on-site examination.
If you are a registered user of the Malaysian Bar website, you may click here to access the checklist for legal firms, in English and Bahasa Malaysia versions.
In order to monitor the level of compliance, BNM has sought Bar Council’s assistance to urge legal firms to complete and submit an AMLATFA Compliance Report on BNM’s website on a yearly basis. The Compliance Report is firm-based and only requires a partner/managing partner/sole proprietor selected by the firm to make a submission on behalf of the entire firm. The Compliance Report must be submitted online to BNM via BNM’s e-SURVEY Portal at:
Please click here to access the e-SURVEY System User Manual issued by BNM in August 2012.
Legal firms are required to send an email request for their username and password to the Manager of BNM’s Financial Intelligence Unit at the following email address:
The email should state the following as its subject: “Compliance Report 2012 — [insert name of law firm here]”.
Legal firms are strongly urged to register on BNM’s website and complete the Compliance Report to ensure compliance with AMLATFA. Failure to comply could lead to BNM imposing more intrusive directives on all legal firms, including legal penalties for non-compliance.
Please note that Members will be asked to indicate in their 2013 Bar Council Sijil Annual Application Form Checklist whether their legal firms have submitted the Compliance Report.
However, kindly be informed that the issuance of the Sijil Annual and Practising Certificate is not dependent on compliance with the AMLATFA provisions. If your documents are in order, the Bar Council Secretariat will process your application whether or not your firm has completed the Compliance Report. As such, Members are urged to submit their application for Sijil Annual and Practising Certificate as soon as possible. Please refer to Bar Council Circular No 181/2012 dated 15 Aug 2012 for details.
If you have any queries, please contact Christina Gomez by telephone at 03-2050 2087 or by email at email@example.com.
Key current materials
1) Feedback from Bank Negara Malaysia on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism Compliance ("AML/CFT") Reports by Law Firms 2011, and the revised standards on AML/CFT measures issued in February 2012 by the Financial Action Task Force (contained in Bar Council Circular No 166/2012 dated 1 Aug 2012)
2) Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing (Security Council Resolutions) (Al-Qaida and Taliban) Order 2011
3) BNM’s e-SURVEY System User Manual (issued in August 2012)
4) Bar Council checklist for legal firms, in English and Bahasa Malaysia versions (contained in Bar Council Circular No 147/2011 dated 12 July 2011)
5) Bar Council guidelines on anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing (contained in Bar Council Circular No 147/2011 dated 12 July 2011)
2) Report to the Bar Council on the Impact of Anti-Money Laundering Legislation on the Advocate & Solicitor (15 Aug 2003)
3) The Anti-Money Laundering Act and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act: A Brief Overview (contained in Bar Council Circular No 054/2004 dated 5 Oct 2004)
4) “The Impact Of Money Laundering Legislation On Advocates And Solicitors”, by Assoc Prof Dr Norhashimah Mohd Yasin (published in INSAF(2004) XXXIII No 1)
5) Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Compliance Framework (contained in Bar Council Circular No 48/2005 dated 23 June 2005)
6) Anti-Money Laundering & Anti-Terrorism Financing: Overview of The Reporting Obligation Affecting Legal Practitioners (contained in Bar Council Circular No 48/2005 dated 23 June 2005)
7) BNM’s “UPW/GP1: Standard Guidelines on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT)” (issued in November 2006, and amended in February 2009)
8) BNM’s “UPW/GP1: Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing on Terrorism (AML/CFT) Sectoral Guidelines 6 for Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs)” (issued in February 2007)
Updated on 2 Nov 2012
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