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Businesses under microscope in money laundering reforms

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COMPANIES that facilitate or enable money laundering will be taken to task by the government as it looks to declare war on those who move, hide or use the proceeds of crime or corruption.

The Treasury and the Home Office have announced a new action plan for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist finance, three weeks before the prime minister speaks before a global anti-corruption summit.

The action plan intends to create an ‘enhanced law enforcement’ against the threat the UK finance system faces, including passing through ‘tough new legal powers’ to tackle criminals and the financing of terrorist organisations.

Also on the agenda is to reform the supervisory regime so the government can bring companies that facilitate money laundering to task, as well as increasing the ‘international reach’ of law enforcement agencies.

The government plans to bring through a raft of measures to tackle money laundering, including the fundamental reform of the suspicious activity reports regime and passing new laws which would require those suspected of money laundering to declare their wealth.

The Home Office wants to gain the views of NGOs and big businesses as part of a six week consultation on the passing of these new powers.

Home secretary Theresa May said that Britain’s financial system is under threat of being ‘undermined’ by money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

“This action plan sends a clear message that we will not tolerate this type of activity in our financial institutions. We will forge a new partnership with industry to improve suspicious activity reporting, deliver deeper information-sharing and take joint action on enforcement.”

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