Press release 12th May 2022

Economic Crime Manifesto echoes experts’ calls for reform

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March 12, 2022 – Transparency International UK welcomes today’s publication of an economic crime manifesto from the All-Party Parliamentary Groups on Anti-Corruption & Responsible Tax and Fair Business Banking.

The manifesto calls on the Government to strengthen the forthcoming Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill and take decisive action to root out dirty money from the UK.


Duncan Hames, Director of Policy at Transparency International UK, said:

“This manifesto is a compelling call for government to act here in Britain on the scourge of economic crime and corruption. We join these MPs in demanding an end to secrecy in Britain’s offshore financial centres, an overhaul of the private sector’s dirty money defences, and a significant increase in funding for law enforcement to go after money launderers. Now, is the time for Government to press forward against the kleptocrats who hide their dirty money here.” 


The manifesto sets out four fundamental principles to reform the UK’s approach to tackling economic crime. These are:

  1. Transparency - Easily & reliably identify who really owns companies, trusts & assets.
  2. Enforcement - Toughen up our policing agencies with enough resources to consistently enforce existing laws & deter wrongdoing.
  3. Accountability - Empower Parliament, journalists, the courts and whistle-blowers to unearth further criminality & hold Government to account.
  4. Regulation - Supervise the professions efficiently & effectively by reforming Anti-Money Laundering rules.


Transparency International UK has called for:


No one to help kleptocrats and oligarchs:

• Consolidate the UK’s fragmented and ineffective anti-money laundering (AML) supervisory regime.

• Reform corporate criminal liability laws to ensure that enablers can be held to account.

• Combat the use of Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) which stifle public interest criticism of oligarchs and kleptocrats.


Nowhere to hide for the corrupt and other criminals:

• Empower and resource Companies House (including by significantly raising company registration fees) to effectively monitor, verify, and investigate suspicious companies.

• Require the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories to introduce public company ownership registers by the end of 2022 and proactively share information with UK authorities to enable comprehensive sanctions designations until such registers are in place.

• Provide transparency about national security risks posed by Tier 1 (Investor) visas (‘golden visas') issued before the route was scrapped in February 2022, and ensure proper checks on dirty money are carried out across all visa routes to avoid repeating mistakes made over these visas when in many cases minimal checks were done on applicants’ source of wealth.


No impunity for economic crime:

• Significantly increase resourcing for law enforcement agencies fighting economic crime.

• Support whistleblowers to play an effective role in tackling economic crime.