Ministers to chair new taskforce in fight against economic crime
THE HOME Secretary and Chancellor are to launch a joint blitz on fraud, bribery, corruption and money laundering.
Sajid Javid and Philip Hammond will chair a new taskforce which will work with senior figures in the financial sector to tackle economic crime. This is a broad category covering a range of illegal activity, with the Home Office estimating its scale is at least £14.4bn a year. Mr 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.”
The Chancellor said the UK is leading the world in the fight against illicit finance. Mr Hammond added: “We know more can be done which is why the Home Secretary and I are launching the first ever cross departmental board to prevent more people from becoming victims of economic crime.
“By bringing together specialists across the public and private sector, we can use the best of our expertise to maintain our status as a global financial centre.”
The Economic Crime Strategic Board will set priorities, direct resources and scrutinise performance against the threat.
Its members also include bank chiefs, Government ministers, law enforcement figures and representatives from the legal, accountancy and property sectors.
At the board’s first meeting today, the Home Secretary will confirm that his department will commit £3.5m in 2019/20 to support work to reform the suspicious activity reports (SARs) regime. The reports are used to flag up money laundering, terrorist financing and other suspicious activity to the National Crime Agency.
SAJID JAVID: ‘It is crucial we work closely with our financial sector partners to win this battle.’