Barclays in the news: Barclays to help tackle economic crime worth £14bn

22 January 2019

Barclays will be on the board of the UK’s new economic crime taskforce helping the government tackle fraud, bribery, corruption and money laundering – which is estimated to cost £14.4bn each year.

The UK government has announced the launch of a new Economic Crime Strategic Board – a partnership between the government and senior figures from leading banks, including Barclays.

The board – which will meet twice a year – is run jointly by the Home Office and the Treasury and will outline priorities and direct resources to help reduce the threat of economic crime to the UK.

Sajid Javid, Home Secretary and Co-Chair of the taskforce, said: “We need to take action on all fronts to target the corrupt fraudsters who are lining their pockets with dirty money and living luxury lifestyles at the expense of law-abiding citizens.”

Tackling an increase in suspicious activity

The National Crime Agency (NCA) received a record 463,938 suspicious activity reports (SARs) between 2017 and 2018 – a 10% increase from the previous year. The reports are used to flag activity such as potential money laundering and terrorist financing. At the board’s first meeting on Monday, Javid confirmed that the Home Office would commit £3.5m to reform the SARs regime in 2019 to 2020.

Other members of the board will include the chief executives of Lloyds and Santander, and representatives from UK Finance, the National Association of Estate Agents, the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Accountancy Affinity Group, as well as the NCA.

Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Co-Chair with Javid of the taskforce, said: “The UK is leading the world in the fight against illicit finance. We know that more can be done.

“By bringing together specialists across the public and private sector, we can use the best of our expertise to maintain our status as a global financial centre.”

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