Sanctions for most people have never really been on the agenda. Glossed over as something to be aware of but will never really an issue... Included the general AML compliance package but we never have any 'hits'... Yes, we have a sanctions policy but we have never needed to implement it... 

Financial and trade sanctions have been around for some time and have been enforced against selected regimes such as Syria, Belarus and Iran. We also have thematic sanctions against human rights abuses, chemical weapons and cyber terrorism. However, the wider world has never seen the full effect of them being deployed in unison by the world's major powers in such a targeted manner. 

That is until now, where these incredible powers can be put into effect not just overnight but immediately. People now see why we have these 'super powers'. The ability to effectively close down entire financial systems in one go is as severe as it gets without putting troops on the ground yourself - truly modern warfare.

Time will tell though as to how long the people of Russia and the economy will tolerate this. It is not only the oligarchs whose assets are frozen and cannot travel outside of the Motherland who are affected. The everyday Russian citizen can no longer use Apple or Google Pay - an entire nation cut off from one of their expectations. That may be more of an irritation than anything else but it shows that the sanctions regimes in place are affecting everyday normal life - not something Mr Putin may have expected.  

It is also true that supply chains will be severely affected with Russian ships now banned from many major ports, contracts may be suspended or frustrated. But that is the price we are willing to pay for a chance to stabilise the Ukrainian situation. 

As for the legals - if you are a 'relevant' person or business you are duty bound to make any report to OFSI if you know or suspect you may be dealing with a sanctioned person or entity. It is also a criminal offence for anyone to knowingly circumvent any sanctions regime so if you are in any doubt - do check.