At the International Anti-Corruption Conference in Washington DC, the United Kingdom delegation emphasized the need for the global community to continue fighting illicit finance and corruption.
Senior representatives from international governments joined key business leaders last week to discuss recently taken action and the need to continue to take a robust stance. Speakers included Jake Sullivan, the US National Security Advisor, Maia Sandu, the President of Moldova and David Malpass, the President of the World Bank. UK Ambassador to the US, Karen Pierce, represented the UK and spoke at the event.
She said: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shown that corruption is a threat to global stability, to our democratic societies, and to our collective security.
Illicit finance and corruption have been used deliberately to gain access and influence in the UK and countries across the globe, threatening our democratic institutions, our politics, and our polices.
We need to redouble our efforts to counter these threats. We must advocate for stronger transparency in our financial systems, investment in law enforcement capability, and cooperation internationally.
We should also be honest that we have been complacent in the past. Our priority is to take further domestic action to tackle corruption and illicit finance in all its forms.”
Minister for Security, Tom Tugendhat MBE, MP, is overseeing the UK’s comprehensive response to the threat posed by illicit finance and corruption. This response includes the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act which is going through the Parliamentary process.
It will build on the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act, introduced in March 2022, to further bear down kleptocrats, criminals and terrorists the UK’s financial system.
The new bill also includes a reform of Companies House, which will prevent the abuse of limited partnerships. It will additionally provide powers to seize crypto assets more quickly and introduce to tackle money laundering.
The Security Minister said: Illicit finance and corruption are a serious threat to global stability and our national security depends on taking decisive action.
This starts at home. The UK has put the strongest sanctions of any G20 country against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Our new legislation, and the upcoming publication of our Anti-Corruption Strategy and UK Economic Crime Plan, means we will continue to take tough action against those who seek to threaten our way of life.
The threat posed by transnational corruption, however, requires a global response. The US National Security Advisor’s commitment at the conference to support important legislative change will strengthen anti-money laundering regulation in the US.
We need to continue to work on a bilateral and multilateral basis to protect our way of life.