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Mark Hayward, Chief Executive, NAEA Propertymark comments on joining the Home Office and Treasury’s new Economic Crime Strategic Board, which launches today.
“The Economic Crime Strategic Board is significant in that for the first time, all the relevant industries and Government departments are coming together to tackle economic crime by agreeing strategic priorities and ensuring that resources are aligned to deliver them. Property is often seen as a gateway to money laundering and it is essential that estate agents are aware of their duty in carrying out the right checks and reporting any suspicious activity. As a Board we will be seeking to ensure a step change in how the UK tackles economic crime and the role that the private sector can play in doing so.”
The Home Secretary and Chancellor will jointly chair a new government taskforce which will work with senior figures from the UK financial sector to tackle economic crime.
The scale of this type of crime – which includes fraud, bribery, corruption and money laundering – is estimated to be at least £14.4 billion per year.
The new Economic Crime Strategic Board, which will meet twice a year, will set priorities, direct resources and scrutinise performance against the economic crime threat, which is set out in the Serious and Organised Crime (SOC) Strategy.
The board includes CEOs and chief executives from the banking institutions Barclays, Lloyds and Santander as well as senior representatives from UK Finance, the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Solicitors Regulation Authority, Accountants Affinity Group and National Association of Estate Agents.
Bob Wigley, Chair of UK Finance, said:
“We want to ensure the UK is the safest and most transparent financial centre in the world. Banks already spend over £5 billion a year fighting economic crime, but the private sector can’t tackle it alone. That’s why the finance industry works closely with law enforcement and Government agencies to stop the threat and protect customers. The new Economic Crime Strategic Board will strengthen these vital partnerships.
“As part of this, it’s vital that we have the best anti-money laundering reporting system possible. The industry is committed to supporting the Government in reforming the existing regime and UK Finance is currently hosting a team of industry and Home Office experts to achieve just that.”
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