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New taskforce to fight economic crime

14 January 2019

The Chancellor and home secretary are to jointly chair a new government taskforce to tackle money laundering and other economic crime.

Philip Hammond and Sajid Javid will chair the new Economic Crime Strategic Board, which will work with senior figures from accountancy, banking, the legal and property industries, and law enforcement agencies.

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 home secretary has also committed £3.5m in 2019/2020 to support work to reform the suspicious activity reports regime (SARs). With the private sector, law enforcement and regulators, the Home Office is co-designing a new system, which it says is more efficient and effective, and which will benefit business and the public sector.

SARs reform is one of the commitments in the SOC Strategy, launched in November, which is backed by Government investment to the tune of £48m.

The chair of UK finance, Bob Wigley, said: “It is vital that we have the best anti-laundering reporting system possible. The industry is committed to supporting the Government in reforming the existing regime and UK Finance is currently hosting a team of industry and Home Office experts to achieve just that.”

It has been estimated that fraud, bribery, corruption and money laundering is costing the UK £14.4bn a year.

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