London, 31st March – 475 new highly-trained financial crime investigators are being introduced to boost the UK’s response to economic crime, being deployed across enforcement, intelligence and asset recovery at key agencies.
The increased headcount, set out as part of the UK Government’s Economic Crime Plan 2, aims to recover an extra £1 billion in criminal assets over the next decade, with the detection and disruption of money laundering at the forefront of efforts.
An additional £400 million is being invested into the three-year plan to tackle economic crime, including £200 million from the Economic Crime (Anti-Money Laundering) Levy raised from the private sector, and a £200 million investment from HMG. A central aim of the Plan is to explore reinvesting illicit funds back into combatting these crimes and supporting victims.
As opportunistic criminals look for new ways to launder their profits, £100 million is also being invested into cutting-edge technology and data analytics to equip law enforcement with the tools needed to stay ahead of trends and identify changing methods of money laundering.
Dr Henry Balani, Global Head of Industry and Regulatory Affairs for Encompass Corporation, comments: “This commitment to increased collaboration, the pooling of expertise and tangible investment is a crucial step in the efforts to truly tackle financial crime.
“Such actions are necessary to protect the UK’s reputation, financial structures, and the widespread effects of economic crime on the public. Increased cooperation from the private sector will also play an essential role in the aims set out in the Economic Crime Plan 2 being successful and can, critically, strengthen current supervisory models.
“Technology is a central aspect of detecting and preventing financial crime, bringing robust and efficient compliance processes through means such as dynamic Know Your Customer (KYC) process automation.
“By utilising solutions available, financial institutions can significantly boost the effectiveness of compliance, helping to streamline processes, remove bottlenecks, and, ultimately, detect financial crime faster. It’s therefore encouraging, and important, to see the focus on harnessing technology in the Plan – an area I’d hope to see continual emphasis on and investment towards to support the financial services industry.”
Home Secretary Suella Braverman added: “Economic crime undermines the integrity of our financial system and weakens our national security. Through robust legislation and a strengthened law enforcement response, we’ve come a long way in cracking down on dirty money, but this plan helps us go further. Backed by our partnership with the private sector, we have the resources and expertise we need to identify criminal networks and confiscate the proceeds of their illicit activities.”