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LexisNexis® Risk Solutions Comment: UK Government Economic Crime Plan 2019-2022

Date 12/07/2019

The UK government released its Economic Crime Plan 2019-2022 this morning, aimed at more information sharing across businesses, a better way to improve suspicious activity reports (SARs) and a more general focus on fighting economic crime in the UK.

LexisNexis® Risk Solutions recently did some research with 200 anti-money laundering professionals to get their opinions on what would help the UK to fight financial crime better, and the stats mirror the government’s plan:

  • Over 40% (40.1%) of compliance professionals don’t think that the UK’s regulatory framework for anti-money laundering is effective, stating only ‘somewhat effective’ or ‘not effective’
  • Almost half (47%) think that a lack of information sharing across businesses is the biggest barrier to fighting financial crime
  • Over 40% (44.6%) agree that using emerging technologies like AI and advanced analytics will help fight money laundering through SARs, and the same number (44.6%) agree that SARs could be improved through use of technology
  • Over a third (35.5%) think the SARs process could be improved through better information sharing
  • One in five (19.6%) thought the improvement of the SARs regime was the most effective way to combat money laundering

Michael Harris, Director Financial Crime Compliance and Reputational Risk at LexisNexis® Risk Solutions has also commented on the government’s Economic Crime Plan:

“The government’s plan is certainly ambitious and challenging in terms of its 2022 completion date, but must be driven forward. It will need much-improved international co-operation to be a success.

As part of the reforms involve technology updates, Government must consult with service providers and those on the front line fighting economic crime to ensure that these efforts are actually effective.

The rise in economic crime levels is now directly impacting the British public, with people falling victim to push-payments fraud and becoming money mules all too often. There needs to be more training and awareness for everyone if we are to truly fight this problem.”