Following the levy £100m issued by the UK government on companies including banks, accountants, estate agents,a and solicitors to fight money laundering, campaigners who feel that the UK is lagging in the fight against illegal fund have expressed support for the level. As part of the National Crime Agency’s plan to crack down the flow of illicit funds, the levy contributed towards combating money laundering will be used to develop sophisticated technology and hire regulators. The new development has been supported by the director of financial crime compliance at consultant Lexis Nexis Risk Solutions, the financial intelligence unit and the director of campaign group Spotlight on Corruption.
Part of the Economic Crime Plan included measures to bring crypto-assets businesses under anti-money laundering rules and improving the sharing of information between agencies. However, the plan stops short of overhauling corporate criminal liability to make it easier to prosecute companies for economic crimes. According to the NCA director-general Graeme Biggar, the proceeds could be used to fund additional investigations, and also improve the process of identifying and stopping illegal funds transfer. However, some have argued that the fund should be spent on hiring prosecutors rather than on both the technology and prosecutors while some said it could raise pressure for existing businesses in the UK. Also, lawyers at Wilmer Hale said: “The government must be careful to ensure that this is not just another tax on the financial services sector and law firms, the proceeds of which are distributed in an opaque and unfocused manner.” As part of the Economic Crime Plan, an extra £48m was already due to be spent to improve the use of data to target fraudsters and money launders.