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Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill [HL] - Committee (3rd Day) (Continued)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 9:00 pm on 6th December 2017.

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Photo of Baroness Kramer Baroness Kramer Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Treasury and Economy) 9:00 pm, 6th December 2017

My Lords, perhaps I heard the same speech that the noble Lord, Lord Naseby, heard, because it seemed to me a speech in which basically all the loopholes were recognised. The argument was that we cannot do anything much about it. We have to co-operate with international regulators regarding companies based overseas with no UK presence that take advantage of Companies House; and regarding companies that go directly to Companies House, never get noticed again but, under the radar, can behave inappropriately. Some of them are entirely legitimate, I am sure, but within that pool there are bound to be some that are behaving very inappropriately.

Having recognised that there is a loophole, I am not vested in one set of answers to how we close it, but it needs to be closed. If the Minister has problems with the drafting or the way various phrases have been laid out, or if there are various other issues, surely all of those can be overcome once there is a decision in principle that this is a loophole and we ought to close it. I hope there is an opportunity for a conversation before Report, because I suspect that this House would be rather uncomfortable with walking away from a Bill like this and leaving a large and acknowledged loophole on the books and in the system. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 69H withdrawn.

Amendments 69J to 69L not moved.

Schedule 2: Money laundering and terrorist financing etc

Amendments 70 and 71 not moved.

Debate on whether Schedule 2 should be agreed.