UK’s fragmented anti-money laundering system “needs re-ordering” warns Parliament’s Treasury Committee
The Treasury Committee in Parliament has just published the unanimously-agreed ‘Report on Economic Crime: Anti-Money Laundering Supervision and Sanctions Implementation’ in which the Committee’s constituent members state that a more precise estimate of the sheer scale of economic crime in the UK is needed. According to the Committee, the Government should review the UK’s anti-money laundering supervision more frequently, while the belief is that the UK shouldn’t compromise in the fight against economic crime simply to secure trade deals post-Brexit.
The Treasury Committee feels that HMRC should ensure all estate agents are registered for anti-money laundering purposes and asserts that Companies House needs powers to combat economic crime. There’s also a strongly-held belief that it’s wrong for Government not to reform the corporate criminal liability framework for economic crime.
The scale of economic crime here in the UK is very uncertain, with estimates ranging from the tens of billions of pounds to the hundreds of billions. That being the case, the Committee would wish to see the Government providing a more precise estimate so that the response can be tailored to the problem.
The Financial Action Task Force has completed its review of the UK’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing systems over a decade since the previous full review. To maintain a ‘clean’ City, the Government should institute a more frequent system of public review of the UK’s anti-money laundering supervision and law enforcement that will ensure a constant stimulus towards improvement and reform. This may be a role for the newly-announced Economic Crime Strategic Board, which is jointly chaired by the Chancellor and the Home Secretary.