The AIA fears that the proposed regime for the Office of Professional Body AML Supervision (OPBAS) will create an imbalanced environment where accountants will incur, directly or indirectly, the set up and running costs of OPBAS levied against the professional bodies.
In contrast, the unregulated sector, choosing the default supervisor, will incur none of these costs.
AIA CEO, Philip Turnbull, said “The proposed changes may have a disproportionate effect on small accounting firms where increased costs and additional regulatory burdens will be felt acutely.”
A potential consequence of the new regime is that members of professional bodies could relinquish membership in favour of the less burdensome option of the HMRC.
Such vastly different forms of supervision cannot be what the government envisioned when preparing the regulations, which in their current form do little to protect the public interest.
AIA urge the government to work with the accounting profession to ensure a proportionate, fair and workable structure is developed.