FinCEN Files: UK’s failure to prosecute high-end money laundering shows UK banks are above the law

21 September 2020   The release of the FinCEN files exposes the role of big banks in facilitating money laundering as well as demonstrating how UK banks are beyond the reaches of the law. For the past few years, the government has focused almost exclusively on...

Blind Trusts: are they enough to avoid conflicts of interest?

16 September 2020 The Guardian reported on the 3rd September that Lord Agnew had relinquished control over his shares in Faculty Science after Spotlight on Corruption and several media outlets flagged a potential conflict of interest between his position in government...

Unaoil – a very complicated win for the Serious Fraud Office

13 July 2020    In a much-needed win for the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, two out of three of those it was prosecuting for corruption in the Unaoil case were found guilty. The case has exposed some ugly competition between global enforcement agencies, and some alarming...


Spotlight on Corruption is today releasing a major new report on the role of UK Export Finance (UKEF) in fighting corruption in the UK’s post-Brexit and post-coronavirus trade drive. UKEF is a government agency that provides taxpayer support to underwrite the majority...

The NCA’s Kazakh Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO) – a costly decision?

1 July 2020 On 17 June 2020, Lady Justice Carr unequivocally refused the National Crime Agency’s (“NCA”) application for permission to appeal. The NCA had sought to challenge Justice Lang’s decision to discharge the unexplained wealth orders (“UWO”) against the Aliyev...

Transparency in COVID-19 public bailouts

Transparency in government-backed COVID-19 loans Along with the Fraud Advisory Panel and Transparency International UK, we wrote to the government on 16 June to ask them to publish the names of all those who have received bailout loans. The letter can be seen here....

Can the criminal courts by safely observed during Covid to maintain open justice?

Can the criminal courts be safely observed during Covid to maintain open justice? 14 May Next week jury trials are set to restart in certain courtrooms under socially distanced conditions. This week meanwhile two jury trials – a murder trial and a bribery trial - have...

Courts, Covid and Open Justice: A Timeline

Pre-Covid 19 court reform and remote technology developments  July 2016         Judiciary published findings of Lord Justice Briggs looking at the structure of the civil courts which examined in detail the case for an Online Court. It states that open justice and...

Are conflicts of interest being managed properly in government during COVID-19? The case of NHSX

In response to the COVID-19 emergency the government, in line with international practice, has relaxed public procurement regulations and is directing substantial extra spending toward public bodies including the NHS. As contracting authorities race to sign agreements...

From Hajiyeva to Aliyev: Where Next for Unexplained Wealth Orders?

The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) started 2020 on a high. In February, the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal against the UK’s first Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO). When a challenge to a second UWO was made public on 10th March 2020, it looked as if the UK’s...

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FinCEN files on money laundering raise questions for UK

Our Executive Director @susanpjhawley on the #FinCENFiles

"Government has focused almost exclusively on developing public/private partnerships with banks in tackling money laundering, rather than actually holding them to account"

Read the blog here👇

This is high quality investigative journalism and shows the gap in law enforcement between large corporations and the poorest in our society.

The poor are more likely to be prosecuted for a £500 benefit fraud than is a banker for laundering a £1 billion.