According to Transparency International, 766 companies registered in the UK have been directly involved in laundering stolen money from at least 13 countries.
The latest official figures reveal that £90bn is laundered in crime proceeds through the UK each year with the government estimating that financial fraud alone costs the UK economy £6.8bn per year.
A YouGov poll shows that business leaders have serious concerns over the damage that money laundering is doing to the UK’s reputation.
Commissioned by campaign group Robust, the poll of business decision makers in the UK’s SMEs identified that more than three quarters (76%) of those surveyed believe money laundering is having a damaging effect on the UK’s business reputation, with 34% responding that it is “very damaging.”
“The UK is awash with dirty money and much of it flows through shell companies set up for just £12 through the limp and ill-equipped system at Companies House.
This YouGov survey suggests that those in business believe it is harming the UK’s reputation as a place to do business.” Said Richard Osborne, founder of Robust
Robust is calling for greater defences against money laundering, and advocates enhanced due diligence checks at Companies House, bringing the UK’s public registrar under current EU legislation.
With Brexit looming, business leaders polled said they would back a range of measures to toughen up the UK’s defences against money laundering:
·84% would pay an additional fee (around £2) for more robust checking procedures by Companies House.
·67% want tougher penalties for those behind shell companies.
·64% believe more robust checking procedures at Companies House would reduce money laundering in the UK.
“These findings show that businesses are concerned that money laundering is damaging the UK’s reputation, and they clearly want to see meaningful action. The Government must be prepared to take concerted action to stop the flow of ‘dirty money’ through businesses incorporated at Companies House, and listen to the voices of UK business leaders. The evidence coming from industry is increasingly overwhelming and it is incumbent on government to stop turning a blind eye to nefarious practices on its own doorstep.” Commented Alison Thewliss MP, Scottish National Party’s lead on the Sanctions and Anti Money Laundering Bill
To find out more watch Robust’s short film which explains the issue in more depth. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zafOKIZ2JI
Here at CoCredo we feel that the issues raised by Robust are a huge concern and that the fight for greater defences against money laundering and enhanced due diligence checks at Companies House should be addressed.
If this issue is something that concerns you, and you would be interested in joining the campaign please contact Richard Osbourne from Robust at: Richard.firstname.lastname@example.org