The Government announced its intention to introduce an Economic Crime Levy in the Budget 2020. This is designed to fund government action to tackle money laundering and help deliver the reforms committed to in the Economic Crime plan 2019-2020. It has since followed up on this - on 21 July - with the launch of a consultation as to how such a levy would operate.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) issued its Action Plan for 2020-21 earlier this month, alongside a Strategic Threat Assessment. The Annual Plan sets out the NCA’s operational priorities for the year ahead and sets out how it will lead a “whole-system response to serious and organised crime”. At the heart of this is the objective to “reduce the harm from economic crime to individuals, the UK Economy and its Institutions, tackling fraud, money laundering and cybercrime”.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has this week published its annual Business Plan. Unsurprisingly, the emergence of COVID-19 has significantly impacted the organisation’s ability to set out its strategic focus for the next three years. While the Plan sets out the areas of priority on which it intends to focus in this period, it recognises that it may be months before the FCA is able to focus fully on the activities set out in the Plan and that the issues to be addressed may change significantly over the coming months.
The COVID-19 pandemic has already had a significant impact on all aspects of the financial services industry, including on firms, customers, regulators, capital markets and their participants. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) continues to engage closely with the sector as it seeks to respond effectively to the current crisis. This has included releasing a number of statements relating to various matters including scams, short selling, operational and financial resilience, and financial reporting.
From 31 March 2020, the UK’s six largest banking groups will start checking whether the name entered on a bank transfer matches the names of the recipient bank account. It is hoped the move will combat transfer scams and errors and make it less likely customers’ money ends up in the wrong hands.