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UK: Brexit 'emboldened' Britain to provide 'global leadership' fighting FinCrime

In a review of the country's AML/CFT regulations that was published on June 24th, the UK Government acknowledged that "more needs to be done" to make the country's AML regulations "more effective."

Money laundering and terrorist financing are still "significant threats" to the UK's economy, stability, and welfare of its citizens and those living abroad, according to the policy paper.

John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, stated in his opening remarks: "My commitment to upholding the UK’s high standards in the fight against economic crime is unwavering."

Sec. Glen emphasized that the UK's decision to leave the EU has "emboldened" it to "continue to exercise global leadership on economic crime."

While the Economic Crime Act, proposed changes to Companies House, and second Economic Crime Plan are "strengthening" the components of the UK's economic crime response, he pledged that the UK's action on economic crime would continue at a "unprecedented pace."

Sec. Glen acknowledged that it was "apparent that there is more work to be done" but expressed gratitude for "all that the private sector does to prevent and detect economic crime."

"Indeed while our legislative controls are strong, dirty money continues to find its way into the UK’s economy. So we must go beyond mere tick-box compliance and build a thorough and dynamic system of controls which responds to the real risk we face," he continued.

Sec. Glen emphasized that in order to achieve better results, "we must increase aaccountability, improve oversight, share more information and not be afraid to intervene when necessary to improve outcomes."

The UK Government acknowledges the need for reform in AML/CFT supervision but claims that the "scale and type of reform to improve effectiveness and solve the problems… is not yet clear."

Regarding particular laws, the UK government states that it is "confident" that "most of the requirements and provisions currently in the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations (MLRs) are the right ones," and that it is "committed to continuing to align with and champion the FATF recommendations."

According to the FATF methodology and "embedding a renewed definition of effectiveness," officials will now outline "clear new objectives" for the MLRs.

Additionally, it is anticipated that the Government will not yet establish National Priorities but will instead concentrate on a "system-wide effort" to enhance risk understanding and information sharing about risk and threats.

Later this year, the UK Government is anticipated to release the second Economic Crime Plan, with "many areas of interest" from the review will "naturally flow into the wider forum," according to the paper.



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