UK launches Economic Crime Strategic Board

The UK’s home secretary and Sajid Javid and chancellor Philip Hammond will jointly chair a new government taskforce which will work with senior figures from Britain’s financial sector to tackle economic crime, including trade-based financial crime.

The Economic Crime Strategic Board will tackle financial crimes, including fraud, bribery, corruption and money laundering – that are estimated to cost the country at least £14.4 billion (US$18.5 billion) per year.

Bank representation

The new Economic Crime Strategic Board will meet twice a year to set priorities, direct resources and scrutinise performance against threats of economic crime as specified in the government’s Serious and Organised Crime (SOC) Strategy.

The board includes senior executives from Barclays, Lloyds and Santander as well as senior representatives from UK Finance, the National Crime Agency (NCA), the Solicitors Regulation Authority, Accountants Affinity Group and National Association of Estate Agents.

SARs reform

The home secretary confirmed at the first board meeting on 14 January that his department will commit £3.5 billion (US$5.5 billion) in 2019 and 2020 to support work on reforming the suspicious reports regime (SARs).

The NCA received a record number of reports last year. The number of SARs reports rose by about 10 per cent to 463,938 during 2017-18, compared with the previous year, including a 20 per cent rise to 22,196 in requests for a defence against money laundering.

Alarming increase

The number of SARs reports rose by about 10 per cent to 463,938 during 2017-18, compared with the previous year, including a 20 per cent rise to 22,196 in requests for a defence against money laundering.

SARs reform is one of the commitments in the SOC Strategy, launched in November, which is backed by government investment of at least £48 million in 2019 and 2020 to further ramp up law enforcement capabilities to specifically tackle illicit finance.

 



Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News