The UK’s Home Secretary and Chancellor are chairing a new government taskforce which has been established to work alongside senior figures from the UK financial sector to tackle economic crime.
The new Economic Crime Strategic Board, which will meet twice a year, will set priorities, deploy resources and monitor the performance against the economic crime threat, set out by the Serious and Organised Crime (SOC) Strategy.
Members of the board includes CEOs and chief executives from the banking industry including, Barclays, Lloyds and Santander. Also present are senior representatives from UK Finance, the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Solicitors Regulation Authority, Accountants Affinity Group and National Association of Estate Agents.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said, “We need to take action on all fronts to target the corrupt fraudsters who are lining their pockets with dirty money and living luxury lifestyles at the expense of law-abiding citizens.
“The Government is already investing millions in the fight against economic crime, but it is crucial we work closely with our financial sector partners to win this battle.
“These criminals threaten the UK’s reputation as a world-leading place to do business and we have a joint responsibility to stop them.”
Outlined to the new board, an expected £3.5m is set to be deployed by the Home Office to support work reforming the suspicious activity reports regime (SAR). Working with the private sector, the Home Office is designing a new system which will be more efficient and better benefit businesses in the public sector.
SARs are used by the banking, accountancy, legal and property spaces to flag suspicions of money laundering or terrorist financing to the National Crime Agency. Last year, reports allegedly rose by around 10 per cent to over 460,000.
Reform of SARs is part of the Serious and Organised Crime Strategy, which launched last year to help target and disrupt organised criminals. The strategy has the support of the government, and £48m in funds to increase law enforcement capabilities.
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