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Government crackdown on ‘dirty money’

Written by: Emma Lunn
The government is investing more than £6m to tackle 'dirty money', leaving criminals with nowhere left to hide their ill-gotten gains.

The Economic Crime Plan draws together actions to overhaul the approach to tackling economic crime, with greater partnering between the government, law enforcement and the private sector.

The plan will tackle fraud, money laundering, bribery and corruption and is expected to see improved levels of information sharing, resource pooling and technological innovation.

One in 15 members of the public are now believed to be falling victim to fraud, with gang violence and drug trafficking regularly financed through this.

The Suspicious Activity Reporting regime will be reformed under the plan. A Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) is a piece of information which alerts law enforcement that certain client or customer activity is suspicious and might indicate money laundering or terrorist financing.

Barclays, HSBC , Lloyds, Nationwide, RBS and Santander will invest £6.5m in the new regime in 2019/20, in addition to £3.5m committed by the Home Office this year. All parties will work together on longer term funding for developing richer intelligence and improving operational effectiveness in the fight against dirty money.

The plan will also establish a new cryptoassets regime with the Financial Conduct Authority, to identify the use of cryptoassets in illicit activity. Meanwhile a new Asset Recovery Action Plan will set out a range of measures to claw back the proceeds of crime, including cash held abroad.

Philip Hammond, chancellor of the exchequer, said: “The UK has one of the toughest systems for combatting money laundering, but too many people are still falling victim to fraud. This crime fuels everything from drug dealing to modern slavery, fundamentally undermining people’s faith in our financial system and impacting economic growth.

“By bringing together leaders from across government, law enforcement and business, we can better tackle the scourge of dirty money, and ensure the UK continues to be one of the safest places in the world to invest and do business.”

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