On 29 March 2018, the Treasury Commons Select Committee (the “Committee“) announced an inquiry into economic crime in the UK. The inquiry will have two strands:
- the anti-money laundering, counter-terrorist financing and sanctions regimes in relation to which the Committee is seeking evidence on, amongst other matters, the scale of sanctions violations in the UK, the current legislative and regulatory landscape, including any weaknesses in the rules and their enforcement and the effectiveness of the Treasury and its associated bodies in supporting and supervising the regimes.
- consumers and economic crime, in respect of which the Committee is seeking evidence on, amongst other matters, the scale and nature of economic crime faced by consumers, including emerging trends and the response of the Treasury and its associated bodies to economic crime consumers face.
The inquiry appears to be aimed, in particular, at the claimed use of proceeds of crime within the London property market. However, economic crime on a wider scale is also set to be examined.
In light of the introduction of the new powers under the Policing and Crime Act 2017 for the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (“OFSI“) which came into effect in April 2017, any findings made by the inquiry into the effectiveness of financial sanctions implementation in the UK could be interesting in potentially indicating the future approach to be taken by OFSI in relation to enforcement action. The deadline for written evidence is 8 May 2018 and we will be monitoring developments in this space.