UK government plans to fight fraud and economic crimes by working closely with private actors

HM Treasury and the Home Office have published a new plan to fight cybercrime, fraud, the financing of terrorism and other economic crimes.

The new Economic Crime Plan 2019 to 2022 is a 76-page document and is a move towards boosting the co-operation between the public sector and private actors.

The list of seven different priorities in the plan includes the aspiration of creating a better understanding of the threat of economic crime, improve how information is shared and to sharpen the tools used by both public and private parties. It also looked at enhancing the management of economic crime in the private sector and to improve the government’s systems for transparency of ownership of legal entities and legal arrangements.

According to the government, the Economic Crime Plan 2019 to 2022 builds on previous commitments made in the UK’s 2016 Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Action Plan, the 2017 Anti-Corruption Strategy and the 2018 Serious and Organised Crime Strategy.

In a joint statement, Sajid Javid, the home secretary, and Philip Hammond, the chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “Economic crime is a significant threat to the security and the prosperity of the UK. It impacts all of our society, including our citizens, private sector businesses and the government. Fraud is now one of the most common crimes in the UK, with one in 15 people falling victim a year.

“Money laundering enables criminals to profit from some of the most damaging crimes. Bribery and corruption undermine fair competition and are barriers to economic growth, especially in the developing world. Terrorist financing facilitates the atrocities we have suffered here in the UK as well as across Europe and the rest of the world. All economic crimes weaken people’s faith in the effectiveness of governmental and commercial organisations.”

This effort to strengthen the co-operation between public and private sectors comes after RegTech Analyst revealed in May that anti-money laundering (AML) services is the second largest receiver of funding among RegTech companies. Roughly $2.8bn was invested into these services between 2014 and Q1 of 2019.

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