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A UK MP claims law enforcement organisations are 'significantly under-resourced'

Kevin Hollinrake, Co-Chair of the UK's All Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking, has asked for a substantial increase in funding to "extend and reorganise the battle against economic crime."

Mr. Hollinrake cautioned during the Backbench Business Debate in the House of Commons that law enforcement agencies were "seriously under-resourced" to combat the estimated £290 billion per year in economic crime.

“Too often in this place, we talk lots of legislation, and not enough about implementation… Economic crime costs the UK economy at least £290BN a year, and probably a lot more than that,” he said.

“Our agency is significantly under-resourced and very fragmented. And I’d like to say that things are going to get better, actually, I think they’re going to get much worse,” he warned.

“We’re tackling this in an analogue way, in a digital era. I think it is about enforcement, it’s about resources, it’s about understanding the scale of the problem and meeting that with the right scale of response,” stressed Mr Hollinrake.

He emphasised that the United Kingdom should examine its "legislative hurdles" since he feels there are "certain things we can do to make sure we get greater value for our money from enforcement authorities, rather than simply increasing the number of individuals who have experienced some of the repercussions."

He criticised UK banks for their "horrendous record," noting that HSBC, Standard Chartered, and NatWest had all been struck with huge penalties for money laundering, and he emphasised that the UK should establish a dedicated budget for economic crime.

In May, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Anti-Corruption & Responsible Tax and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking released their Economic Crime Manifesto, in which they urged the United Kingdom to examine four reform principles for the planned Economic Crime Bill.

They include expanded openness on beneficial ownership, stricter enforcement with adequate resources to implement current laws, enhanced accountability procedures for those responsible to be held accountable, and enhanced regulation and oversight of professions.

Mr. Hollinrake's remarks have been well-received on social media, with former FATF Executive Secretary David Lewis describing Hollinrake's contribution as "vital."

He added: “Too much focus on legislation and not enough on implementation. Here’s hoping those not in the room hear it too.”



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