Failure to Prevent an Economic Criminal Offence

Part of Criminal Finances Bill – in the House of Commons at 3:30 pm on 21st February 2017.

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Photo of Mark Field Mark Field Vice-Chair, Conservative Party 3:30 pm, 21st February 2017

My hon. Friend makes a strong and powerful case, but does he not recognise the distinction between privacy and secrecy? No one wants an entirely secret element, but most people who indulge in banking, whether in an overseas territory or anywhere else, expect a certain amount of privacy. There is no question but that we would expect law enforcement, the police and the tax authorities to have access to these registers. My hon. Friend has been fair in making the point that ultimately a lot of these issues should be constitutional questions for the territories; these measures should not be imposed on them by the UK. On the notion that anyone should have access to that information beyond the authorities I mentioned, as they would in his Tajikistan example, surely he can understand the reluctance for that to happen, particularly in the globalised financial world in which we live, and particularly if the same does not apply elsewhere.