On 9 October 2020, the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (“OFSI“) published its Annual Review, providing an overview of OFSI’s activities in the financial year April 2019 to March 2020. A copy of the Annual Review is available here. In addition, OFSI has reminded UK businesses that they must report any frozen assets they hold by 16 October 2020. 

Statistics

In 2019-2020, OFSI received 140 reports of potential financial sanctions breaches, an increase from 99 previously. The total value of breaches reported during the year was £982.34 million, a substantial increase from the £262.33 million reported previously.

OFSI has also near-doubled the number of jurisdictions it has engaged with over the past financial year from 42 previously to 83 in 2019 to 2020. Overall, domestic and international engagement increased by 20%.

Licenses

OFSI issued 40 new licences and made 69 licence amendments across 10 financial sanctions regimes. It also issued two authorisations. The new Ukraine (Sovereignty) regime licences dropped from five in the 2018 to 2019 period to one during this period. These reductions are attributable to delistings of designated persons that have occurred under these regimes.

Reporting

OFSI has issued a reminder to businesses in the UK that hold or control funds or economic resources belonging to, owned, held, or controlled by a designated person that they need to report these holdings to OFSI.

Businesses are required to report the value of all assets as they stand as of close of business on Wednesday 30 September 2020. All returns need to be made, in the form of a completed template from the GOV.UK website, to [email protected].  For further information and to access the full notice please use the link here. The deadline to submit a report to the OFSI is Friday 16 October 2020.