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Today's Written Statements Update

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Written statements are published on the internet as soon as possible after Parliament receives them and are also published in the next day’s edition of Hansard.

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Harriett Baldwin - HM Treasury

Money laundering is a key enabler of serious and organised crime. Money laundering can undermine the integrity and stability of our financial markets and institutions. Countering terrorist financing is also important in protecting national security and forms a key part of the UKs counter-terrorism strategy.

Money laundering is a global problem and the laundering of proceeds of overseas corruption into or through the UK fuels political instability in some countries. The European Commissions 2013 Impact Assessment of Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing points to global criminal proceeds potentially amounting to some 3.6% of global GDP; around US$2.1 trillion in 2009.

The Government has already taken steps to improve the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regimes including by:

  • launching the Economic Crime Command in the National Crime Agency in 2013;

  • publishing the UK Anti-Corruption Plan in 2014 and setting up a new specialist international corruption unit in the NCA;

  • strengthening the confiscation regime under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and creating a new offence for participation in organised crime;

  • introducing a reporting process for anti-money laundering (AML)/counter financing of terrorism (CFT) supervisors, improving the transparency and accountability of supervision and enforcement in the UK;

  • building Asset Confiscation Enforcement (ACE) Teams to crack down on those who refuse to pay their confiscation orders, contributing to the recovery of 199 million last year, the highest amount on record;

  • forming a new partnership with the financial sector to create the Joint Money Laundering Intelligence Task Force;

  • and launching a review of the Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) regime.

Today, the Government is publishing the UKs first National Risk Assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing. It identifies and assesses the UKs money laundering and terrorist financing risks, drawing on data from UK law enforcement and intelligence agencies, anti-money laundering supervisors, government departments, industry bodies and private sector firms.

The National Risk Assessment has found that while the UKs response to money laundering and terrorist financing risks is well developed, more could be done to strengthen the UKs anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regime, including in the following areas:

  • the understanding of certain types of money laundering, and particularly in relation to high-end money laundering, where the proceeds are often held in bank accounts, real estate or other investments, rather than cash;

  • the consistency of the UKs supervisory regime, and specifically the understanding and application of a risk-based approach to supervision;

  • the priority given to combatting money laundering by law enforcement agencies and the effectiveness of their response.

The Government will take forward these findings in a comprehensive Action Plan. The priorities for the Action Plan will include:

  • fill intelligence gaps, particularly those associated with high end money laundering through the professional services sector;

  • enhance our law enforcement response and build more effective public private sector partnerships, to tackle the most serious threats;

  • address the inconsistencies in the supervisory regime that have been identified;

  • work with supervisors to improve individuals and firms knowledge of money laundering and terrorist financing risks;

  • Increase collaboration between law enforcement agencies, supervisors and the private sector to support prevention and detection.

The Government is committed to ensuring that the anti-money laundering regime is effective and proportionate, with businesses and regulators taking a risk-based approach to implementation. The Better Regulation Executive is leading a red tape review into the UK anti-money laundering regime to identify for example where companies are confused as to what is required or are undertaking unnecessary activity which diverts attention away from where there are real risks. The results of this review will inform the Action Plan.

The UK is periodically assessed under mutual evaluations by the Financial Action Task Force. The National Risk Assessment and the Action Plan will be kept under review and will inform the UKs next evaluation.

A copy of the report has been deposited in the Libraries of the House.


Caroline Dinenage - Ministry of Justice

The Government is committed to making sure bereaved people are at the very heart of the coroner system.

I am therefore pleased to announce the launch of a post-implementation review of the coroner reforms in the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 (the 2009 Act), which will include a call for evidence into peoples experiences of coroner services.

Before the last Government implemented the 2009 Acts coroner reforms, in July 2013, it undertook to review their impact after they had been in place for 18 months.

Since assuming responsibility for coroner policy and legislation following the general election I have considered the appropriateness of this Government carrying out such a review.

The reforms have now been in place for just over two years and I believe that this is a good period of time against which to assess the impact of the reforms and seek views on peoples experiences of the system

The Government is keen to hear the views of:

  • The providers of local coroner services coroners, their officers and other staff, and the local authorities that fund coroner services;
  • Those who have used coroner services under the 2009 Act bereaved people and the voluntary organisations, including faith groups, who support them;
  • Others who interact with coroner services such as pathologists, other doctors and registrars; and
  • Others who have been affected by and have experiences of coroner services under the 2009 Act

We will seek views for 8 weeks, starting today. After that we will consider the responses we have received and publish a post-implementation review report. Any proposed action arising from the findings of the review will be announced at that time.

The review is available at

https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/post-implementation-review-of-coroner-reforms

 


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