Spotlight on Corruption is calling for an amendment to the Financial Services Bill that would introduce a criminal offence for failing to prevent economic crime, with particular reference to fraud, money laundering and false accounting.
1. We believe that there are several important reasons for the urgent introduction of a failure to prevent economic crime offence as outlined in this amendment. These reasons are:
2. To promote strong corporate governance and deter wrongdoing in the financial sector after the UK leaves the EU (protection of market integrity);
3. To create a level playing field for how large and small companies are held to account for economic crime, particularly in response to the burgeoning fraud crisis resulting from COVID-19 (fairness);
4. To ensure that the UK does not fall behind international standards on prosecuting economic crime (equivalence); and
5. To create a level playing field on how liability is attached to companies across different economic crimes within the UK (consistency).