UK does not lead the world on tackling illicit finance

Commenting ahead of the first meeting of the UK’s new Economic Crime Strategic Board, Sarah-Jayne Clifton, Director of the Jubilee Debt Campaign, said:

“While welcome, today’s focus on economic crime seems at odds with the reluctance of the government and regulators to take action on cases of financial crime that are known to exist. Three London-based bankers were arrested last week in connection with a $2 billion odious loans case in Mozambique. But the arrests came about because of an investigation by US authorities. Our own British regulator, the FCA, dropped its investigation into the case last November. Meanwhile people in Mozambique are being pushed into hardship for the repayment of a debt which they had no say over and received no benefit from.

“A top priority for the government should be introducing new rules so that all loans to governments by UK-based companies, or under UK-law, have to be publicly disclosed when they are given.”

For more on the Mozambique case, read about the arrests of ex-Credit Suisse bankers here, and eight things we have learnt from the US indictment against them here.

UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid has said today: “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.”

UK Chancellor Philip Hammond said: “The UK is leading the world in the fight against illicit finance.”

Jubilee Debt Campaign activists protest outside UK Treasury before handing in Jubilee for Justice petition, September 2013 (iDJphotography)
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