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Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) discusses crucial role of SARs to the UK’s anti-money laundering strategy in Complinet coffee cast

An exclusive interview with David Thomas, head of UK FIU (financial intelligence unit), SOCA, features in the second of Complinet’s series of high-profile ‘coffee casts’ involving senior figures in compliance and risk management, to be broadcast at 11am on Tuesday December 11

London, UK – December 6, 2007 – On Tuesday December 11 at 11am, an interview with David Thomas, head of UK FIU, SOCA will be broadcast online by Complinet, the leading provider of solutions that dynamically deliver relevant compliance intelligence to industry professionals. This is part of Complinet’s ‘11ses’ coffee cast series.

In an 11-minute interview with Helen O’Gorman, Complinet’s deputy editor for financial crime, David Thomas discusses the role of the FIU within SOCA and explains how the agency interacts with banks and individuals to achieve its overall aims for crime reduction.

Thomas, a senior figure in the UK government’s anti-money laundering strategy, spoke to Complinet following the publication of SOCA’s first annual report to the Home Office and Treasury ministers on the suspicious activities reports regime. This was published on November 28. [1]

Thomas discusses details of the report in the interview and highlights the quality of SARs sent by the reporting sectors. He also examines some of the difficulties encountered with the consent regime, especially by those in the retail banking sector. He answers questions about crime reduction through global information sharing (and limits to information sharing), improvements in reporting since the introduction of electronic reporting (SARs online) by SOCA last year, the risks posed by politically exposed persons, additional threats to the UK and the measures that SOCA has taken to prevent future information leaks.

Talking about the benefits of electronic SARs, Thomas says: “Reporting is now quicker and easier .We have already seen an increase in the quality of reports and expect to see more high quality reports submitted in future. Forums such as Complinet help with creating awareness and the need to provide robust systems for reporting.”

When introduced to Complinet’s Transaction Monitoring service, Complinet’s solution for monitoring accounts for suspicious activity, he added: “It is good to see a system that focuses on the business benefits [of implementing compliance automation systems],
rather than on fear or coercion.”

Paul Johns, chief marketing officer at Complinet, added: “We are very pleased to welcome David Thomas to Complinet. The insights he has provided show that our international efforts to create a global compliance community and the technology we are developing are focused in the right direction. This is another highly valuable coffee cast. Money laundering reporting officers will benefit from the insight and commentary directly from the head of the FIU.”

SOCA is an executive non-departmental public body sponsored by, but operationally independent from, the Home Office. It was formed through the amalgamation of the National Crime Squad (NCS), National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS), part of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) dealing with drug trafficking and associated criminal finance and part of UK Immigration dealing with organised immigration crime (UKIS). SOCA is an intelligence-led agency with law enforcement powers and harm reduction responsibilities.

Complinet’s Coffee Casts are broadcast at 11am on the 11th of every other month. This ‘coffee cast’ will be broadcast on the Complinet web site,, at 11am BST on Tuesday December 11. The video will play directly in any internet browser that has Adobe Flash Player installed. Viewers can register to view the coffee cast at:

[1] - The report is available to download from SOCA’s website:
About Complinet

Complinet is the leading provider of solutions that dynamically deliver relevant compliance intelligence to industry professionals within the highly regulated global financial services community. Complinet enables customers to minimise their exposure to risk by providing the information and technologies they need to track and connect live external events such as regulatory or sanction changes with internal policy management and screening activities.

Complinet was founded in 1997 and employs over 200 people in its offices in New York, London and Dubai. Every day, industry professionals in more than 1,200 firms across 81 countries rely on Complinet to provide information, analysis and solutions that help them keep pace with changing industry regulations. In August 2007, Complinet was named by Financial News as one of the 21 technology companies most likely to shape the future of the financial services industry.

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