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New plan puts UK at the forefront of fight against economic crime

Government, law enforce­ment and pri­vate sec­tor agree on a new plan to crack down on mon­ey laun­der­ing, klep­toc­ra­cy and sanc­tions evasion.

Corrupt elites and crim­i­nal gangs who abuse our finan­cial sys­tem will be iden­ti­fied and stripped of their cash through a new plan to tack­le eco­nom­ic crime.

The Economic Crime Plan 2 builds on the foun­da­tions of its pre­de­ces­sor with new actions to improve the sys­tem-wide response to eco­nom­ic crime through enhanced coop­er­a­tion between gov­ern­ment, law enforce­ment, super­vi­so­ry agen­cies and the pri­vate sector.

Our response to eco­nom­ic crime will be bol­stered by 475 new high­ly trained finan­cial crime inves­ti­ga­tors, spread across intel­li­gence, enforce­ment and asset recov­ery at key agen­cies. This increased capac­i­ty will be tar­get­ed toward the detec­tion and dis­rup­tion of mon­ey laun­der­ing, and the recov­ery of an addi­tion­al £1 bil­lion in crim­i­nal assets over the next 10 years.

Building on our unprece­dent­ed pack­age of sanc­tions in response to Russia’s inva­sion of Ukraine, we are now expand­ing the National Crime Agency’s Combatting Kleptocracy Cell to tar­get more cor­rupt elites and their enablers, while con­sol­i­dat­ing the effec­tive­ness of UK sanctions.

As crim­i­nals seek new ways to laun­der their prof­its, we are invest­ing £100 mil­lion in cut­ting edge tech­nol­o­gy, includ­ing data ana­lyt­ics, to equip law enforce­ment with the tools they need to stay one step ahead. A new mul­ti-agency cryp­to cell will be estab­lished that com­bines law enforce­ment and reg­u­la­tors to pool exper­tise and more effec­tive­ly iden­ti­fy, seize and store illic­it cryp­to assets.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said:

Economic crime under­mines the integri­ty of our finan­cial sys­tem and weak­ens our nation­al security.

Through robust leg­is­la­tion and a strength­ened law enforce­ment response, we’ve come a long way in crack­ing down on dirty mon­ey, but this plan helps us go further.

Backed by our part­ner­ship with the pri­vate sec­tor, we have the resources and exper­tise we need to iden­ti­fy crim­i­nal net­works and con­fis­cate the pro­ceeds of their illic­it activities.

Cooperation with the pri­vate sec­tor is crit­i­cal to the plan’s suc­cess, which is why we will devel­op a new approach to pub­lic-pri­vate pri­ori­ti­sa­tion, which will max­imise our col­lec­tive intel­li­gence and resource to detect and dis­rupt eco­nom­ic crime.

The UK’s super­vi­so­ry regime will be strength­ened, with increased infor­ma­tion shar­ing between part­ners, and greater gov­ern­ment over­sight to ensure effec­tive­ness and com­pli­ance with Money Laundering Regulations.

Treasury Lords Minister Baroness Penn said:

Economic crime harms our econ­o­my and destroys lives. More fund­ing from gov­ern­ment and the new con­tri­bu­tion from indus­try through the new levy will allow us to deliv­er a step change in our response.

While the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill pro­gress­es through Parliament, this mul­ti-stake­hold­er plan ensures that we can max­imise the new pow­ers through strength­ened capac­i­ty and greater exper­tise. This will enable us to swift­ly and effec­tive­ly act to iden­ti­fy fake com­pa­nies and hold crim­i­nals to account.

The 3 year plan is backed by £400 mil­lion in addi­tion­al invest­ment to tack­le eco­nom­ic crime over the Spending Review Period. This includes £200 mil­lion HMG invest­ment and £200 mil­lion from the Economic Crime (Anti-Money Laundering) Levy raised from the pri­vate sec­tor. This fund­ing will ensure a step-change in our response by sup­port­ing the deliv­ery of crit­i­cal eco­nom­ic crime reforms, includ­ing those set out in the Economic Crime Plan. The Plan also com­mits us to explor­ing new ways to rein­vest sus­pect­ed illic­it funds back into com­bat­ting eco­nom­ic crime and sup­port­ing victims.

Bob Wigley, Chair of UK Finance said:

Tackling eco­nom­ic crime is a key pri­or­i­ty for the bank­ing and finance indus­try and we wel­come the launch of the Second Economic Crime Plan.

Partnerships between the pri­vate sec­tor, law enforce­ment, reg­u­la­tors and gov­ern­ment are vital­ly impor­tant. Through this new plan we will con­tin­ue to work togeth­er to ensure our col­lec­tive sys­tem more effec­tive­ly com­bats all forms of eco­nom­ic crime.

Graeme Biggar, Director General of the NCA said:

The NCA’s National Economic Crime Centre has led the way in bring­ing togeth­er the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors to ensure sys­tems are in place to tack­le high harm finan­cial crime to pro­tect the UK’s pub­lic, finan­cial struc­tures and reputation.

The reforms detailed in the Economic Crime Plan are cru­cial to move us to the next lev­el in our fight against the dirty mon­ey that fuels seri­ous and organ­ised crime. They will enhance our capa­bil­i­ties to iden­ti­fy illic­it finance and dri­ve it out of the UK; tar­get­ing cor­rupt elites, and the mon­ey laun­der­ers crim­i­nal gangs rely on.

Michael Izza, Chief Executive of ICAEW, said:

We are sup­port­ive of the mea­sures set out in this plan which will help in the fight against eco­nom­ic crime, and we will con­tin­ue to invest in robust super­vi­sion, edu­ca­tion and intelligence-sharing.

A key suc­cess of the first Economic Crime Plan was devel­op­ing the part­ner­ship between accoun­tan­cy and the pub­lic sec­tor to crack down on money-laundering.

Tackling eco­nom­ic crime and dri­ving dirty mon­ey out of the UK’s finan­cial sys­tems will be best achieved by Government work­ing close­ly with pro­fes­sion­al body super­vi­sors, and we look for­ward to col­lab­o­rat­ing on the actions out­lined in the sec­ond Economic Crime Plan.

Read the Economic Crime Plan

From: Home OfficeHM TreasuryBaroness Penn, and The Rt Hon Suella Braverman KC MP

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