Dr Henry Balani, Global Head of Industry & Regulatory Affairs for Encompass Corporation comments:
“Money laundering in the UK is a far more complicated an issue than one might expect, and there are thousands of unique and intricate relationships between UK finance professionals and international criminals which continues to contribute to the money laundering economy. Historically, London has been the centre of a vast physical empire that has now developed a financial powerhouse to support potential nefarious activities. Covid-19 and lockdown has certainly not helped either, as digital identity authentication and paperless transactions, for example, have made it easier for some financial criminals to slip through the cracks of less sophisticated due diligence processes in the banking sector.
“Moving forward, we must expect to see tightening on restrictions from the regulator, as well as a proactive and cooperative effort from all private finance professionals and firms to ensure that this form of financial activity does not continue to proceed unchecked. The UK’s reputation as a safe place to do business for legitimate companies depends on this, as there are other financial centres around the world only too happy to take over leadership. Adopting sophisticated KYC technology is imperative to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of regulatory processes. Suspicious Activity Reports will continue to play a key role in identifying unusual behaviour or concerning activity provided Finance professionals file actionable (and not purely defensive) reports.”