UK scores top marks in anti-money laundering review
(City AM) The UK’s finance sector scored top marks in a review by a global anti-money laundering watchdog published today.
However, due to its status as the largest financial services provider in the world, it still faces a “significant risk” of money laundering, the Paris-headquartered Financial Action Task Force said.
While Britain has a “robust” regime to combat dirty money, it must strengthen supervision and increase the resources of its financial intelligence unit, among other recommendations from the body.
Britain achieved the world’s highest assessment, scoring top marks in eight out of 11 categories to achieve the highest marks of any of the 60 countries so far assessed.
The task force found the UK “routinely and aggressively” identifies, pursues and prioritises money laundering investigations, with 7,900 investigations resulting in 1,400 annual convictions.
The UK also faces “severe threats” from international terrorism, including Northern Ireland terrorism from paramilitary groups.
The news comes after the UK established unexplained wealth orders to seize funds where people cannot explain where the money has come from, following the Novichok attack on former Soviet spy Sergei Skripal in March.
Ben Wallace, minister for security and economic crime, said: “I’m delighted with today’s report which shows our efforts are being recognised, and sends a strong message to criminals that we will come for them, their assets and their money.”