The UK Money Transmitters Association UKMTA

this post answers the following questions
1. What is UKMTA stands for?
2. Does UKMTA recognized by the government and has an important role?
3. Why is UKMTA conferences and training important?
4. What is the objective of the UKMTA?
5. How to be a member of UKMTA?

The UK Money Transmitters Association, also known as the UKMTA, is not a body that many members of the public will be familiar with.

However, despite their relative anonymity, the UKMTA play an important role in the payment process in the UK and are recognised by government bodies such as HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

This article provides a guide to the UKMTA and explains some of the functions they serve within the payments industry.

An overview

The UKMTA is a not-for-profit organisation which acts as the trade body for all type of payment agencies and institutions across the UK, and is owned and run by the members.

The executive team which run the body are elected from member organisations of the UKMTA and are responsible for planning all aspects of work for the group.

The UKMTA take an active role training, including providing a forum for members and conferences across the country for those in the money transmission industry.

Conferences and training

The UKMTA is committed to holding at least four conferences in London every year as well as additional regional meetings and issue-specific seminars.

These industry gatherings provide professionals from authorised payment institutions a platform in order to learn, debate and discuss the latest issues and regulatory changes. The meetings may be focused on a specific subject or on issues which impact global firms, with presentations from international speakers.

Both full and associate members can attend any of the conferences which includes representatives from agencies such as banks, government officials, money transfer companies as well as authorised payment institutions.

Aside from conferences, the UKMTA communicates with its members regarding upcoming and potential market and regulatory changes to help promote awareness and compliance. In addition, they also host an online training module for employees to take the appropriate Anti Money Laundering Training, a basic requirement for any staff working in the industry.

Protecting interests and promoting standards

As the trade body for Payments Institutions, the UKMTA has adopted the role of industry mouthpiece and liaises with various bodies, including the regulator and HMRC to ensure that all rules are applied in a fair and consistent manner.

The organisation also provides a voice for small and medium sized businesses to ensure that their concerns are heard and represented.

The UKMTA also interacts with banks to make sure that payment firms are treated responsibly and fairly in all transactions.

However, it is not just the interests of member firms that the UKMTA actively addresses; it also works hard to protect the needs of the consumer. An integral part of the UKMTA role includes raising standards across the industry and promoting excellence of service. In key issues such as client fund safeguarding, transaction monitoring and due diligence, the UKMTA is responsible for establishing and promoting best practice models.

Who can join?

Only authorised payment institutions, regulated as ‘Principal’ by both HMRC and the FSA can hold full membership which provides the right to vote and hold office. However, other agencies such as banks, government officials and money transfer firms can apply for associate membership.

To become a member of the organisation, regardless of which category of membership is being applied for, the firm must be able to demonstrate compliance with a number of standards. These include having a fully documented compliance plan which has been signed off by senior management of the company, an employee training programme, evidence of compliance with regulatory requirements such as AML and an appointed Money Laundering Regulatory Office.

The standards set out by the UKMTA are the minimum expected to be able to demonstrate professional competence as defined in many of the best practice models.

Conclusion

Although the UKMTA is not in the public eye frequently, it works tirelessly on a non-profit basis behind the scenes, promoting professional conduct, providing protection for the consumer as well as standing up for the needs of companies in the industry. The work it carries out is wide-ranging and overseen by individuals on the executive committee who hold dual roles at the member firms.

Without the UKMTA, there would be no trade body to identify gaps in knowledge, best practice or market policies, without which consumers would be much worse off. For peace of mind engage a UKMTA member for your foreign currency transaction such as http://www.currencyindex.co.uk/.

Image Credits: Baltic Development Forum.

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