Investment: Fraud

Treasury written question – answered on 18th May 2021.

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Photo of Nicola Richards Nicola Richards Conservative, West Bromwich East

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to tackle financial crime and protect individuals and businesses from fraudulent investment schemes.

Photo of John Glen John Glen Minister of State (Treasury) (City), The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

The UK has been recognised as world leading in its response to economic crime. Criminals, however, are continuously adapting their methods and we know there is more work to be done to tackle financial crime and fraud.

In 2019, the Government and private sector jointly published a landmark Economic Crime Plan. This Plan provides a collective articulation of 52 actions being taken by both the public and private sectors over the next three years to ensure the UK cannot be abused for economic crime.

The Government has also agreed an ambitious framework for a Fraud Action Plan, covering years 2022 to 2025. This will include the Government working with industry, the intelligence services, law enforcement, and all partners to tackle fraud. The Home Office are developing the Fraud Action Plan and the Government will publish this after this year’s spending review.

Regulation also plays an important part in reducing the risk of fraud to consumers. As part of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) responsibility to ensure the integrity of UK financial markets, the FCA requires all authorised firms to have systems and controls in place to mitigate the risk that they be used to commit financial crime. Whilst the police have primary responsibility for investigating fraud the FCA also has powers to take a variety of enforcement action against firms that carry out fraudulent activity. The Treasury continues to keep the legislative framework under review to ensure that it is effective in reducing the risk of fraud.

The Government takes fraud very seriously. We continue to work closely with industry to close down the vulnerabilities that fraudsters exploit and ensure members of the public have the information they need to spot a scam and stand up to fraudsters.

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