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UK drafts new 'Economic Crime Plan' to tackle cryptocurrency crimes

Image by Neri Vill from Pixabay

Tue, 16 Jul 2019, 04:28 am UTC

The British government has drafted a new Economic Crime Plan to tackle financial crimes, including an “intervention on crypto assets.”

The financial crime prevention plan, drafted by the U.K. Home Office and H.M. Treasury, aims to implement guidelines on how authorities should respond to illegal financial activities, including “fraud, money laundering, bribery, and corruption” at home and abroad. It also aims to better establish cooperation between the government, law enforcement, and the private sector.

The plan also wants to reform the different approaches of tackling the country’s economic crime, including overhauling the Suspicious Activity Reporting regime, with a £6.5 million financial backing from Barclays, HSBC UK, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide, RBS, and Santander UK.

All parties will work together on longer term funding for developing richer intelligence and improving operational effectiveness in the fight against dirty money.

In addition, the agencies plan to establish a new crypto asset regime in partnership with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to go “beyond international standards to create one of the most comprehensive global responses” against cryptocurrencies used in illegal activities such as money laundering.

The new plan was agreed between Chancellor Philip Hammond, Home Secretary Sajid Javid, heads of law enforcement, major financial firms, and legal, accountancy, and property organizations.

By bringing together leaders from across government, law enforcement and business, we can better tackle the scourge of dirty money, and ensure the UK continues to be one of the safest places in the world to invest and do business,” Hammond said.

Meanwhile, an Asset Recovery Action Plan will help recover the crime proceeds, including funds held outside the country. As per the press release, £1.6 billion has been clawed back from criminals from 2010 to 2018.

This plan provides a vital blueprint for how the public and private sector will work together to crack down on the criminals responsible and make this country the cleanest and most transparent for financial business in the world,” Bob Wigley, UK Finance Chairman, said.

Meanwhile, the Canadian government has just recently updated its anti-money laundering (AML) and Counter Financing of Terrorism (CFT) rules. Under the new rules, money service businesses (MSBs) will now include both domestic and foreign businesses that are “dealing in virtual currency.”

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