Counter-terrorism and anti-money laundering

The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. As a registered charity, the British Council must comply with charity law, including ensuring that its assets are safeguarded and properly used to meet its charitable objectives.  We receive grant-in-aid funding from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and must safeguard these public funds.

Our resources must not be used to support criminal purposes, including terrorist purposes. We will assess the risks of becoming involved with terrorism and money laundering. We will put in place proportionate measures to manage those risks, while continuing to work in difficult and challenging places.    

This policy applies to all British Council operations worldwide unless local legal requirements are more rigorous, or if applying the policy would be illegal under local laws.



• having systems, procedures and controls in place to ensure that it manages the risk of becoming involved in financing or supporting terrorist activity or money laundering

• for the highest risk transactions, checking that those the British Council funds or works with are not on any terrorism lists, financial sanctions lists or other regulatory compliance lists and assessing the risks if they are

• training its staff so that they have an awareness of the risks related to terrorist activity or money laundering

• ensuring that its staff understand their obligations to report any actual or suspected terrorist activity or money laundering

• meeting its obligations to report to external authorities. 


We require all those receiving British Council funds to act in accordance with this policy to ensure that our funds and assets are not used to finance or support terrorist activity or to launder money. 

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 Sir Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive, in February 2016 and is due for review in February 2017.