HMRC Failing To Crack Down On Money Laundering

HM Revenue & Customs are failing to crack down on money laundering rules which require estate agents amongst others to implement regulation-compliant anti-money laundering (AML) policies, controls and procedures.

A report by Francesca Titus and Kyle Phillips of law firm Fieldfisher says figures show that between 2012-13 and 2017-18 HMRC conducted fewer than 55 investigations for breaches of the UK’s Money Laundering Regulations and that fewer than 25 prosecutions were brought.

The authors comment: “It is hard to believe that only 20 or so of the thousands of businesses supervised by HMRC have not been fully compliant with all aspects of the MLR.

“This notion is particularly staggering, as that the National Crime Agency estimates that tainted funds flowing into the UK amount to £90bn annually.

“Averaging about four prosecutions a year sits uneasily with laudatory government press releases commending a ‘crackdown’ on money laundering, when evidently the problem still exists on a colossal scale.

“Until HMRC’s words are backed up with meaningful actions, questions will remain about the government’s competence to tackle money laundering.”

This probably isn’t the only new piece of legislation that is announced with a fanfare of political intent but falls by the enforcement wayside of course. Politicians rarely realise that enforcing a law takes a lot more effort and resource than announcing it.

Source Fieldfisher
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