As part of a wide-ranging sanctions package announced last week, UK banks will now be required to share information on Russian oligarchs.
In an effort to combat potential sanctions evasion, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has informed UK banks and financial institutions that they will be required to provide information on Russian oligarchs.
The FCA wants banks to "feed into the UK response," according to a spokesperson, adding that "it’s incredibly important for us to see from banks how those subject to sanctions are behaving."
According to the Financial Times, the FCA stated that this contribution would aid authorities in understanding the behavior of those sanctioned, with a spokesperson warning that the watchdog had a "full toolkit" available for banks that failed to comply.
The regulator said that banks that withhold information on sanctions evasion will be found to not have a "open and transparent" relationship with the FCA, and will face increased scrutiny.
Last week, the UK government announced sanctions against seven Russian oligarchs, including Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea Football Club.
Following Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine last month, the UK, US, and EU have imposed harsh sanctions, with the UK sanctioning five Russian banks, including Sberbank, VTB Bank, Gazprombank, Vnesheconombank (VEB), and Rosselkhozbank.
Since the first sanctions were imposed, UK banks and financial institutions have provided information on Russian oligarchs to the FCA, the National Economic Crime Centre, the National Crime Agency, and the UK Home Office.
The banking sector "fully supports the government’s sanctions activity and is swiftly enacting and abiding by any measures introduced," according to statements of the UK Finance, the trade representative, to Financial Times.
The banking sector is "committed to tackling economic crime and already goes well beyond its legal and regulatory obligations," according to a spokesperson for UK Finance.
By fLEXI tEAM