Press release 19th Oct 2017

New Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill – Necessary but on its own not sufficient response to corrupt money

Dominic Kavakeb 
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19th October 2017, London – A new bill introduced by the Government to the House of Lords, “The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill”, is a welcome step to shoring up our defences against corrupt money entering the UK after Brexit, but political will is still needed in order to fulfil past promises to tackle the problem.

Transparency International has identified £4.2 billion worth of London property bought with wealth considered to be suspicious and 40,000 London properties owned anonymously.

This legislation would enable Government Ministers to introduce regulations and essential registers which could reveal the true owners of companies purchasing UK property from overseas. However, Ministers are yet to confirm their intentions following a consultation earlier this year.

Duncan Hames, Director of Policy Transparency International UK, said:

“It is vital for the fight against corruption that the UK’s defences against money laundering are resilient beyond Brexit. This enabling legislation is a welcome sign that Government understands the need to ensure these rules and other sanctions don’t unravel in the course of leaving the European Union. But the door to corrupt money coming into the UK has been left open for far too long, so simply replicating existing rules is not enough.”

“We are still waiting for the Government to respond to its consultation on introducing a register of the true owners of overseas companies that are currently able to purchase UK property anonymously. The Government has committed to introducing legislation for this register by April 2018 and this bill is a timely opportunity for ministers to confirm their determination to deliver on this promise. Without doing so there is little prospect of ending the UK’s role as a safe haven for corrupt money.” 


Dominic Kavakeb
020 3096 7695
079 6456 0340