On 19 November the NCA published its Suspicious Activity Reports Annual Report 2020. The number of DAMLs (Defence Against Money Laundering), at 61,978, is a significant increase from 2018/19, which itself was a significant increase from the year before that.
In 2019/20 only a fraction of the DAMLs received, at approximately 3%, were initially refused (at 2,055) - a percentage only slightly down on 2018/19.
The vast majority of DAML requests were determined without referral to law enforcement. Of those refused, 688 cases were refused where there was no previous or existing law enforcement investigation.
The growth in DAMLs has been fueled by fintech companies, accounting for 83% of the increase in DAMLs in 2019/20.
Defensive reporting is inevitably also a factor in the growth, something that will be considered in the SARs Transformation Programme.
"“We are dealing with huge volumes [...] and large increases year on year. The Daml cases are the ones that are the most resource intensive and often quite complicated to deal with and those have risen to just over 62,000 this year, which is a big increase.”"