Financial Sanctions are imposed by the UK government and can apply to individuals, legal entities, and governments from both the UK and abroad. The purpose of a financial sanction is to prohibit any organisation from carrying out transactions or other financial services to those they consider to be a risk (these people or entities are known as ‘targets’).
Depending on how severe the HM Treasury deems the risk of a particular target to be, a financial sanction can range from extreme (e.g. freezing of all assets, inability to move any money between accounts or overseas, inability to obtain any financial services) to smaller, very specific sanctions which may restrict the movement of just one or two assets, or of a particular account or transaction.
Once the HM Treasury issues a financial sanction, it is against the law not to comply with it. Only authorisation from the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation will allow organisations to transact with a sanctioned target. Additionally, it is the responsibility of the organisation in question to comply with the law on this matter and to ensure that their employees understand what financial sanctions are and what actions they should take if a client is listed as a target.