12th March 2019

FS industry committed to supporting the fight against economic crime

The Treasury Committee has published its ‘Report on Economic Crime’, which warns that the current system for implementing sanctions against anti-money laundering is fragmented and needs to be reviewed more frequently. The report calls for a more precise estimate of the scale of economic crime in the UK.

It was reported that the existing system leaves the UK “vulnerable on a massive scale”. MPs have argued that as part of a “dirty-money crackdown”, HMRC should be able to register estate agents to prevent money-laundering gains being “stashed” in the property sector, and called for a database of those linked to “dirty money”.

Treasury Committee chair Nicky Morgan urged the government not to compromise and “bow to deregulatory pressures”, but to “maintain its intentions to lead in the fight against economic crime”.

Responding to the publication of the report, Stephen Jones, UK Finance CEO, said: “The industry is fully committed to supporting the government in the fight against economic crime. [This] report rightly identifies a number of important areas that could help ensure the UK has the best anti-money laundering reporting system possible.

"This includes the need for more effective information sharing between the private and public sector alongside the need to improve transparency of risk at Companies House.

“The financial sector currently spends over £5bn a year fighting economic crime and the report recognises the vital role that industry plays in partnership with law enforcement to detect and prevent organised crime and terrorism.

"However, we support the committee’s call to ensure there are sufficient resources devoted to tackling economic crime, given the success of existing innovative public-private partnerships such as the Joint Money Laundering Intelligence Taskforce.”