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British banks face money laundering crackdown

epa05301272 British Prime Minister David Cameron during the Anti-Corruption Summit in London, Britain, 12 May 2016. The Summit comes after the publication in April 2016 of the so-called Panama Papers leak on offshore tax havens and the people involved.  EPA/FRANK AUGSTEIN / POOL

 

Bloomberg

Prime Minister David Cameron said the U.K. plans to make financial services companies liable for their employees’ complicity in money laundering and fraud, in an extension of proposed laws against tax evasion.
Announced to coincide with an anti-corruption summit in London on Thursday, Cameron said the developed world must “get its house in order” and gave further details of a register of owners of high-value properties in London to prevent it being used as a hiding place for plundered money.
“In addition to prosecuting companies that fail to prevent bribery and tax evasion, we will consult on extending the criminal offence of ‘failure to prevent’ to other economic crimes such as fraud and money laundering,” the premier wrote in an article for the Guardian newspaper.
Cameron said he had reached “the conclusion that the things we want to see — countries moving out of poverty, people benefiting from their nation’s natural resources, the growth of genuine democracies — will never be possible without an all-out assault on
corruption.”

Economic Crime
Cameron’s government said last month that companies whose staff help people evade tax would face unlimited fines under proposed U.K. rules creating a new corporate crime of failing to prevent tax evasion. Employers would be liable for the actions of staff unless they put “reasonable” precautions in place to prevent such behavior.
The Ministry of Justice said it will publish the consultation on extending the measures to other economic crimes this summer.
The consultation on the proposed law said current legislation had the effect of encouraging management in large corporations to “turn a blind eye to the criminal acts of its representatives in order to shield the corporation from criminal liability.”
Foreign companies own about 100,000 properties in England and Wales and 44,000 of them are in the capital.

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