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Government commits £3.5m to new fraud and money laundering reporting systems

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  • 14/01/2019
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Government commits £3.5m to new fraud and money laundering reporting systems
The government is to overhaul suspicious activity reports (SARs) and has committed £3.5m to a replacement fraud reporting system, it was announced at the meeting of a new Economic Crime Strategic Board (ECSB).

 

Mortgage brokers are obliged to fill out SARs to report suspicions about client tax evasion, money laundering or other financial crime to the National Crime Agency (NCA).

The reports are used across the banking, accountancy, legal and property sectors.

The NCA received a record number of SARs flagging potential money laundering, terrorist financing and other suspicious activity last year.

 

Economic crime taskforce

The home secretary and chancellor will today jointly chair the new government ECSB taskforce, which works with senior figures from the UK financial sector to tackle economic crime.

The board is to set priorities, direct resources and scrutinise performance against the economic crime threat, which is set out in the Serious and Organised Crime (SOC) strategy.

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

Bob Wigley, chair of trade body UK Finance, said: “Banks already spend over £5bn a year fighting economic crime, but the private sector can’t tackle it alone.

“That’s why the finance industry works closely with law enforcement and government agencies to stop the threat and protect customers.

“The new Economic Crime Strategic Board will strengthen these vital partnerships.

“As part of this, it’s vital that we have the best anti-money 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.”

Home secretary Sajid Javid added: “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.”

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