21 May 2018

Establishment of the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation

As highlighted in the Chancellor's 2015 budget, barristers should note that on 31 March the Treasury established within it the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI).

OFSI focuses on increasing support as well as providing appropriate instruments to deal with a wide range of non-compliance.

It aims to support the UK's foreign policy and national security goals and to help maintain the integrity of and confidence in the UK financial services sector. OFSI's principle aims are to:

• increase awareness of and compliance with financial sanctions;

• ensure that sanctions breaches are rapidly detected and effectively addressed; and

• provide a professional service to the public and industry on financial sanctions issues.

In the first year of operation OFSI aims to introduce a new programme of targeted outreach, including seminars to: increase awareness of obligations under financial sanctions; improve turnaround times and service delivery to industry; and establish appropriate penalties to address breaches of financial sanctions.

The Treasury, through OFSI, continues to be the UK's competent authority for the implementation of financial sanctions, and Treasury ministers continue to be responsible for licencing decisions and for designations under UK sanctions legislation.

A new web-based search tool to facilitate compliance with financial sanctions should be added to the OFSI website by the end of 2016. OFSI offers a free alerts service notifying subscribers to changes to sanctions listings to facilitate compliance. If you have not already subscribed to the service, subscribe now.