Friday 8 March 2019

UK: Treasury Committee report - economic crime, anti-money laundering supervision and sanctions

The Treasury Committee today published its report Economic Crime - Anti-money laundering supervision and sanctions implementations: see here or here (pdf). The accompanying press release is available here. The report's conclusions and recommendations can be read here. The Committee notes that the scale of economic crime is uncertain and that it is difficult to measure. It nevertheless recommends that the Government undertakes more analysis and research concerning the scale and size of economic crime and individual sectors' exposure to it.

There is much in the report, but what can be noted here is what is said about company formation and the weaknesses associated with current procedures at the companies registry, Companies House. To quote directly from the report (at para. 63):
The UK cannot extol the virtue of a public register of beneficial ownership and yet not carry out the necessary rigorous checks of the information on that register. The Government must urgently consider reform of Companies House to ensure it has the statutory duties and powers to ensure it plays no role in helping those undertaking economic crime, whether here or abroad. It is welcome that the Economic Secretary has noted that BEIS is considering reform in this area, but the Government should move quickly and now publish detail of this reform by summer 2019".

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