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$412 Billion of Suspect Transactions in UK’s Financial System According to Report

In a report by Transparency International UK (TIUK) analyzing over 400 corruption and money laundering cases, nearly 600 UK entities were identified as businesses or individuals that helped corrupt individuals move and defend ill-gotten gains. Many of these ill-gotten gains were paid to educational institutions, architectural & interior design firms, and luxury goods. Firms are not required to perform anti money laundering checks in some of these industries. This means that some of these firms may have not been aware they were helping to launder ill-gotten gains. Other firms, such as financial institutions, already have to perform anti money laundering checks, but may not have been able to identify the true source of funds because of the use of shell companies.

Out of the $412 billion of suspect transactions, the report identifies that:

  • Over $5.2 million was paid to UK educational institutions
  • $10.5 million was paid to architectural and interior design companies
  • About $740 million was sent and received through UK bank accounts

TIUK Chief  Executive, Daniel Bruce, recognized the serious progress already made in the UK towards financial crime, but identified that these findings “confirm it is still far too easy for criminals and the corrupt to seek impunity with the assistance of UK businesses.” The European Union has started enacting legislation to fight money laundering in new markets, such as in arts and antiquities. Now that the UK is leaving the EU, the government must plan accordingly and may follow the EU’s lead.

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