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My Lords, the Opposition are sympathetic to many of the points that have been made, and I single out Amendment 69H. The capacity to carry out UK company formation from outside the UK is a real lacuna in the current money laundering regime. Monitoring within the UK is difficult enough, as is evidenced by the use of, for example, Scottish limited partnerships in Russian and former eastern-bloc bank fraud and money laundering of gigantic proportions. This vulnerability is of course magnified when the company information provider eludes the UK’s money laundering oversight.
Amendment 69J provides, we respectfully suggest, a useful additional hurdle for any prospective money launderer to negotiate. While the provision of the requisite materials for opening a bank account no doubt seems irksome to many, it none the less provides an additional external check on the background of those seeking to operate via a UK company.
The amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Naseby, offers a clear and useful mechanism for combating money laundering and I share his observation that it would be surprising if the Government did not support this measure with considerable force.