The Government is today introducing the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill, as committed to in the Queen’s Speech at the start of this Parliamentary session. Building on the recently enacted Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022, the measures in this new, significant Bill enable us to bear down further on kleptocrats, criminals and terrorists who abuse our open economy, strengthening the UK's reputation as a place where legitimate business can thrive while driving dirty money out of the UK.
The UK is at the forefront of global efforts to tackle illicit finance and economic crime. There have already been a number of important strides forward in the effort to confront and address economic crime in recent years, including:
The Economic Crime landscape is constantly evolving, and we cannot be complacent about the threat. That is why we are bringing forward this further legislation to help tackle these problems and transform our fight against illicit finance.
The key elements of the Bill include:
These new measures will tackle economic crime, including fraud and money-laundering, by delivering greater protections for consumers and businesses, boosting the UK’s defences, and allowing legitimate businesses to thrive. They will also protect our national security, by making it harder for kleptocrats, criminals and terrorists to engage in money laundering, corruption, terrorism-financing, illegal arms movements and ransomware payments. And they will support enterprise by enabling Companies House to deliver a better service for over four million UK companies, maintaining our swift and low-cost routes for company creation and improving the provision of data to inform business transactions and lending decisions across the economy.
This Bill forms a key part of the wider Government approach to ensure that law enforcement and the private sector have the tools needed to help tackle economic crime, sitting alongside the key provisions in the Online Safety Bill which will tackle online fraud, as well as the upcoming Second Economic Crime Plan and Fraud Action Plan.
This Bill has been developed in close partnership with law enforcement agencies, as well as with the financial sector, professional and business groups, and civil society organisations. This reflects the breadth of the measures in the Bill, the nature of the threats posed and the importance of working across sectors to tackle economic crime.
The Government remains committed to tackling economic crime and illicit finance, and to strengthening the business environment across all of the UK. We will continue to work with the Devolved Administrations on these measures and the formal Legislative Consent Motion process.