Anti-money laundering

The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We are committed to conducting business in accordance with the highest ethical and legal standards. The public, participants and customers have the right to expect that professional, competent and trustworthy people are employed by the British Council wherever we operate.

We adopt a ‘zero tolerance’ policy to fraud, bribery and corruption, and we have an obligation to prevent our organisation and staff from being exposed to the risks of money laundering.

We will comply with applicable legislation. The Money Laundering Regulations 2007 require organisations to put in place preventive measures. The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the Terrorism Act 2006 establish the criminal offences that individuals or organisations may be subject to and the obligation to report suspicions.

Money laundering is the process by which an individual or organisation converts cash and assets gained through criminal activity into a form that can be used legitimately and openly without drawing attention of the authorities. It can also include any matters connected with funds being used, or provided for, or generated by any terrorism related purpose, even where no other crime may have taken place.

The policy applies to all operations of the British Council worldwide unless local legal requirements are more rigorous; or if applying this policy would be illegal under local laws or would provoke serious threats to the British Council’s operations or its staff.

The British Council is committed to:

  • maintaining a risk-based approach to its systems, procedures and internal controls to prevent and detect money laundering
  • ensuring all employees, agency staff, contractors and external consultants working for the British Council report any knowledge or suspicions of money laundering
  • reviewing continuously our systems, procedures and internal controls through risk management processes and audit arrangements.

We will provide adequate and appropriate resources to implement this policy and will ensure it is communicated and understood.

The British Council will review this global policy statement annually to reflect new legal and regulatory developments and ensure good practice.

This global policy statement was approved by Martin Davidson, Chief Executive, in February 2014 and is due for review in February 2015.