Liam Byrne: Q What is the criminal structure in this market? Is it teenage hackers in their bedroom or sophisticated organised crime groups?
Liam Byrne: Q You just said that some of those organised crime groups have connections to hostile states—presumably such as North Korea, Iran and Russia.
Liam Byrne: Q So is there now a blurring of a national security threat and economic crime?
Liam Byrne: Q And are we investing enough in tackling that kind of crime?
Liam Byrne: That was not the question. Are we investing enough?
Liam Byrne: Q Just to crystallise this, in your first answer, you described quite a simple layering exercise of money moving through five different banks, and you said that was a difficult problem to stop. Does this Bill help us stop that problem that you just described?
Liam Byrne: Q The second problem that is often described by banks to me is that they have to spread their compliance resource very thinly across a large customer base, rather than focusing it on a smaller group where they suspect there is more harm at work. Is that a scenario you recognise, and does this Bill help you focus compliance resource on the potential high-harm customers who we should be...
Liam Byrne: Q But this Bill does not help you in that squaring of the circle.
Liam Byrne: Nick, can I check two things that you said, which I think reveal some significant flaws in the Bill? First, I think you said that the verification regime proposed for Companies House is weaker than that for the regulated anti-money laundering sector. Is that the case?Q
Liam Byrne: Q Right, so we have a risk of a two-tier verification regime: one operated by Companies House and one gold-standard regime operated by the regulated AML sector. The second thing I think you said is that the verification regime proposed in the Bill runs a risk of failing to establish those in actual economic control of a company. Is that true?
Liam Byrne: Q So you would say to Members of Parliament who are worried about bad people transferring control of an economic asset to proxies that, at the moment, we do not have enough safeguards in the Bill.
Liam Byrne: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the information published in the Registers of Scotland, if HM Land Registry will publish official statistics on the country of origin of (a) corporate and (b) individual property owners in England and Wales broken down by (i) type of interest and (ii) local authority.
Liam Byrne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what proportion of all mortgages were buy-to-let in each region of the UK in the most recent period for which date is available; and what assessment his Department has made of the potential impact of buy-to-let purchases on the availability of properties for first-time buyers.
Liam Byrne: Was it the right response to that poisoning to fix a meeting with a former intelligence agent of the KGB—a meeting without officials, minutes, or any report to this House of what the hell happened?
Liam Byrne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions she has had on seeking participation in the US-EU Trade and Technology Council.
Liam Byrne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the G7 Communique expressing progress on the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII), which Minister leads UK policy on the PGII; which role is providing executive day to day leadership of the PGII; how much resource has been committed to the PGII (a) by the UK and (b) in...
Liam Byrne: To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent assessment her Department has made of the extent of prohibitions or controls preventing or regulating goods, wares, articles, and merchandise imports with content manufactured in Xinjiang to the UK.
Liam Byrne: I thank the hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Kevin Hollinrake) and my right hon. Friend the Member for Barking (Dame Margaret Hodge) for bringing this debate to the House and for all their work in bringing together the superb set of proposals in the economic crime manifesto. It is an important debate for us to have, even on a day like this, for the simple reason that at the heart of every...
Liam Byrne: Exactly. My hon. Friend is absolutely right. I will quickly run through five parts of the economic manifesto that have to be at the core of the next economic crime Bill. One of the virtues of having this debate today, at this moment of great flux in our politics, is that I hope to put on the record the cross-party consensus that now exists about the provisions that need to go into economic...
Liam Byrne: The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. The joy of the Minister’s position must surely be that Members of this House have done the heavy lifting for him. Between us, we have sketched out a pretty comprehensive catalogue of measures for the Bill: we have not quite put the clause numbers in, but I think we have set out most of the measures. Those measures have to start with information about...